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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?

Prozacbear Mon 22-Apr-13 19:09:26

Agree with the posters above so little to add! Apart from: stick to your guns.

Ex-DP and I broke up to much uproar and I am now MUCH happier with current DP. Oddly the same friends/family who were asking us to 'make it work' now comment on how much happier we both are! Listening to them would be a bad idea right now.

Particularly agree with Tumbleweeds - look at all you do, and all you get is him telling you you're lucky? Bollocks to that. Go, be happy, find someone who realises that nobody wants to come home and clean but it's what you do when you're part of a family and contributing like a grown-up.

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 19:15:35

Tumble, I think I've just always done it. He has a physical job, I have a desk job, so I have always thought he needs to rest of an evening? The money side has never been an issue, its not something I would ever say "well I earn more than you...."

But yes, I do see your point. Sometimes I get so exhausted to the point I feel like a zombie, and he probably feels neglected?! He has started to blame my job on this sitation too, but trying to reverse how he has been depressed cos he never gets to see me, how there are times he could have had counselling because of the loneliness, but he just put up with his own feelings for the sake of our family? That may well be true, but I don't know. He never seemed to mind on pay day, or when he was seeking company with football and through the bottom on a beer can.

He has asked if he can improve things - these being either to buy a bigger house, which he knows we cannot afford, or to have a baby??

I am scared of what my future holds, but I don't know how much of this I can take x

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 19:21:46

Thanks Prozacbear! This isn't about me wanting someone else though, this is about me wanting the best for my DC, and if I'm unhappy, then they aren't getting the best of me?

I will never shut DH out, I am happy for joint custody, no matter how hard it will be on us, the DC have to come first. But to see how they react to how I am when DH isn't there, is a stark contrast to how they are when we are all together.

DH and DM are hoping I see divine inspiration tomorrow - I'm trying to go with an open mind, but its so hard when they are supporting each other and not me.

I just feel so trapped.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Mon 22-Apr-13 19:33:03

Have you told him that if he doesn't give you some space you will end up resenting him?

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 19:38:22

No Sissy I haven't, I should thought I guess?

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 19:40:59

When I ask for space, he just says its his house too, and that he needs to be there to make me work it out

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 19:45:10

I think you are doing the right thing. If you are happy your children will be.

They are young and they will be ok, so will you.

I'm glad your friends are being supportive, your family need a kick up the backside, their job is to support you regardless of their own opinions and your parents, especially your mum should know better from you've said... point this out.

I think you are incredibly brave. I'm struggling too for similar reasons, if my DH left I think I would be sad but I'm starting to think I need to be on my own. Sadly, I'm bound by financial issues.

<here's a hand to hold> sad

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 19:51:46

My DM just keeps saying "if you let him go, someone will come along and snap him up, how will you feel then?" I just said that I hope that someone makes him happy, to which she just laughed and said I will never do any better sad That may be the case, who knows, but isn't it my right to find out?

I need to build a happy home for the DCs, thats the most important thing x

MrsB, I don't think I'm being brave, we have financial issues as well, but I am just trying to take one day at a time. I'm following my head and my heart for the sake of the DC x

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 19:55:01

Your dm - to say the least -undermining even a little toxic in what she says. A little distance from her may help also?

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 20:02:31

She is actually speaking to DH more than me?!

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 20:05:08

Hmm.. Rather disloyal, v undermining and extremely odd on the face of it. How is your relationship normally with her?

mrsmindcontrol Mon 22-Apr-13 20:11:08

Your situation sounds exactly like mine 2 years ago when my exH and I separated. He is a good man, a great dad etc but just the wrong man for me. I had become a shell and so very very unhappy trying to make myself love him.
My parents reaction was horrific. I've posted about it before. They are in exactly the same position you describe your parents in. I'd like to say they've come round in 2 years, but they haven't. We just don't talk about it anymore & I've distanced myself from them.

Please believe that you are doing what is right for you & your babies and with time people will see this & learn to respect your position if not understand it.

Much love x

wispa31 Mon 22-Apr-13 20:25:08

hiya. sorry you are having a hard time though ive no experience of what you are going through. but i do understand what its like to have your mum not supporting you and how that makes you feel.
you have to do what you feel is best for your family so if that means you will be happier if you separated then do it. no offence but your h sounds like a bit of a knob in the way he is behaving. as for your mum, maybe its best to not to discuss it with her if she cant be supportive, end of day, wether she 'approves' or agrees or not is irrelevant, she should be there for you no matter what.
since ive been pregnant ive had to stand up to my mum as she can be very opinionated and is deadly for holding grudges/ getting all 'me me me' if she doesnt like something ive done or decided. think its starting to sink in that now that i am about to have my own family my decisions will be whats best for my family and not whats going to suit/please everybody else and no way will i ever put myself out just because someone else (mother dear) wont like it.
sorry ive just rambled on and on.

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 20:27:12

Salbertina, we have an OK relationship, probably became closer after having the DC, but I am probably closer to my DF, who hasn't actually said anything about the whole situation at all. I think he would like to, but I never get to see him alone.

MrsMindControl - that is exactly how I feel, he is a good man, but I have drifted so far apart, and I am making myself unhappy trying to love him. I just feel so selfish for feeling this way.

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 20:36:26

No, thank you Wispa, I appreciate any opinions and comments on here, I'm far from perfect by any means!

I think its just because my DM has made do, she feels I should do the same. But I also think she is being a little hypocritical - I can't tell you the amount of times my parents split up when I was young! And it was because she was unhappy and got no support from my DF!

Its like shes saying "Do as I say, not as I did"?

wordyBird Mon 22-Apr-13 20:44:04

It sounds as if you have two rather controlling people in your life: your mum, and your husband.

Neither of them are acknowledging your feelings, and both seem to be, well… bullying you into accepting their view of the situation.

You say you've 'broken your husband's heart' by asking for a separation. But if you've been crying so much your young daughter has been trying to support you, things must have very been bad for YOU. Your heart was broken some time ago, it seems.

If your husband is a good husband, really, he ought to be distraught that you have been so upset. But it seems that he's just denying there is a problem, saying you are unwell (!), refusing to leave your home - and telling you that you need to learn family values. As if he is the one to teach them to you! And to say he is going to stay to make you work through it ... I'm speechless.

That is extremely controlling , and highly disrespectful.

I hope you get on well at your counselling appointment. Good for you for insisting on it.

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 20:44:32

So, looked at kindly, your dm wants her dd to avoid her own mistakes..understandable but it sounds a little as if she's projecting her issues/truths on to you at a vulnerable moment. Which is most unfair.

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 20:52:08

He is texting me as I sit here at work. Tonight he is apologising for "being so ugly" and that he is trying to save our marriage. Last night he was slagging me off, saying I was controlling him and that I am just bored and looking for excitement????

I am feeling bullied, I argued with him tonight because I said I am 38, and yet no-one wants to know how I feel, they just want to tell me how I feel?! He had nothing to say to that.

I was hoping to find some answers tomorrow, but am worried I may go a little guarded now, he's making me feel like a freak! Do I tell the counsellor that to start with? I don't know what to expect

mrsmindcontrol Mon 22-Apr-13 21:17:22

You're not a freak. Don't let him make you feel like that. He's hurt & he's lashing out. He's trying to guilt trip you into staying together.
It won't be easy but you have done the difficult bit by telling him how you feel. If your situation IS as much like mine as it seems, I promise you that you ARE doing the right thing.
I felt horribly guilty about how sad I was making my exH feel but I definitely know that he's happier now, as am I. And, most importantly, as are my (our) beautiful baby boys.

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Apr-13 21:20:37

Oh don't worry about the counsellor. Tell him/her how you feel. How your Dh makes you feel like a freak, t you feel bullied into something you don't want.
Just say that and take it from there.

A good counsellor will NEVER make you feel like a freak or tell you you are stupid or anything like this. Their job is to ask questions so that you can reflect on what is going on and get a better picture of the reality. This might mean the importance of the influence of your mother on your own life, how your partner behaviour affects your happiness, or the impact of your own beliefs (eg you are the one responsible for your DH happiness) onto your own reactions.
Don't expect quick answers with counselling. It is a slow process a bit like unpeeling an onion.
And the first session is more likely to be around organization, aim of the counselling, boundaries etc...

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 21:34:59

Well, now he has just told me that he is looking for somewhere to rent but that I am on my own. I asked if he will still help with the kids of an evening until I get my work sorted out, and he said no. The kids can live with him until I get sorted?!! sad

What do I do? If I can't work, I have no money coming in and no roof for my kids, financially I will be destroyed

CinnabarRed Mon 22-Apr-13 21:36:53

I'm sorry if this is out of line, but I have to say - I'm struggling to understand too.

You are exhausted, clearly, and something has to give without a doubt. The part I don't get is why is has to be your relationship that goes. (Assuming that your DH is indeed at heart a good, kind man and that you do still love him. If either of those things is wrong then ignore everything else that follows.)

In 6 months your DD will start school. You can revert to do your 6 hours per day of paid employment during 'normal' working hours. You could get a cleaner to take up some of the slack of housework. Or your DH could do more of it.... You can spend your evenings together as a couple and grow back together again.

Look, I know nothing of you other than what you've posted. I just want you to be absolutely sure that your marriage is really and truly over, rather than (as your unhelpful mother has said) in a bad patch, before you separate permanently. Don't discount the possibility just because it's your mother who raises it!

SGB always says, rightly, that no-one has to stay in a relationship nor justify ending it - of course she's right - and do tell me to bog off if I'm not helping.

CinnabarRed Mon 22-Apr-13 21:39:52

BTW - I would feel enormously resentful of a man who worked for, what, 8 hours per day while I worked for 18.

CinnabarRed Mon 22-Apr-13 21:44:52


The financials will get sorted. Get legal advice. If the DC are resident with you then he will have to contribute to their upkeep. If they are resident with him then you will be able to work office hours rather than of an evening (especially so when your youngest starts school). Either way, you'll survive. Your standard of living will reduce - if nothing else because your combined income will need to support two homes rather than one - but that may well be a price worth paying.

thecatfromjapan Mon 22-Apr-13 21:53:24

i find it odd that you have pottered along so far together without seeming to have done any fighting/arguing/discussing of what seems to be quite a huge disparity in workload between the two of you.

I wonder if, when you see the counsellor, you're going to think your husband was such a lovely, kind, equitable, caring husband after all.

It's very easy to cry tears when the household serf wants to leave.

Your mother? Why is she so keen to see her daughter unhappy? She sounds, frankly, like one of those mothers who is all window-dressing and no real love or care underneath. Lots of mouth stuff about how you need to sacrifice for the children, no real thought or care going on about what might be best for her child - you.

All a bit abstract, really. What you might suspect she really wants is for you to go back to your husband, shut up about your unhappiness, so that she can go on playing the pretend role of happy granny.

I deeply mistrust people like this.

I also think it is bizarre that you have these two people, who are, or were, so close to you, who both play the same game: ignoring your feelings - even when you try and articulate them - and insist you play the role they want from you. I think that's why I wonder if, actually, you are mor unhappy in your marriage than you think, but are used to not listening to your own feelings, and instead let other people tell you how you should be feeling.

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