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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?

thecatfromjapan Mon 22-Apr-13 21:57:00

By the way, to return to your OP:

The short answer to your question is that, no, there is nothing you can do. You have used language - there is no secret, magic sequence of words you can use. In fact, they understand perfectly. They are just chooding to ignore what you are saying and insisting on an alternative reality.

It's about power, not comprehension.

Overtiredmum Mon 22-Apr-13 21:59:15

Well I need to go home now, he won't let me in, guess I have to call the police?

CinnabarRed Mon 22-Apr-13 22:05:53

Yes, I think so. I'm not liking the way he's treating you now - not the hallmarks of a loving, lovable person.

MooncupGoddess Mon 22-Apr-13 22:09:18

Tell him that if he doesn't let you in you'll call the police. Then make good on your threat.

Really sorry you're going through this, OP.

ChippingInLovesSpring Mon 22-Apr-13 22:16:57


You are doing what is right for you and thus right for the children. Neither your H nor your Mum need to 'understand' - they just need to accept. Of course it would be lovely if they did understand, but there's no point in turning yourself inside out trying to make them.

Your H is being an arse and I actually suspect if you wrote a lot more about him it would become apparent that he's been an arse for a long time! Saying you are 'ill', 'don't know your own mind', that he wont do what he can to make life run smoothly for the children etc. He's not the Prince you are making him out to be/that you feel he is.... and that is why you are unhappy sad

Your Mum is toxic, sorry - but she is sad She is not listening to you and so all you can do is either ignore her or cut her out of your life. I would be having very firm words with her about what is required of her if she wished to stay part of my life (and her grandchildrens).

Stay strong - you are doing the right thing.

ChippingInLovesSpring Mon 22-Apr-13 22:19:12

Fucking idiot. Definitely call the police and if he wants to play stupid fucking games then It Is Over - there is no going back from this, none. Ask them if they can remove him from the house and ask for a 'whatever-they're-calling-it-now' restraining order.... GIT.

whethergirl Mon 22-Apr-13 22:19:25

Doesn't he realise he is just making things worse?
I think he is showing his true colours tbh.

OP you are doing the right thing - you know you are, it feels right. The transgression won't be easy, but you'll be happier in the future.

On a practical point of view, could you not carry on working evenings and get a childminder?

ChippingInLovesSpring Mon 22-Apr-13 22:20:59

Oh and for what it's worth - he is NOT a good Dad. A good Dad does NOT do this to their mother & make the situation far worse for them. A good Dad would not have let you run yourself ragged while he sat back & watched either...

Ditch the rose coloured glasses - he is falling short of the mark as a DH and as a Dad sad

DaffodilAdams Mon 22-Apr-13 22:23:08

OvertiredMum, several things about this man stand out to me.

-The huge disparity in workload and the fact that he has been happy to let you do way more than your fair share.

-Your children are 7 & 4 and last week was the first time he took them to the park.

-He started calling you "unwell" on splitting up.

-He is not taking any responsibility for the relationship. It is all on your shoulders.

-He is blackmailing you with regards the children and your job.

-He has locked you out of the house.

None of these are signs of a nice person, husband or particularly good father. Your mother isn't sounding great either.

I hope you do ring the police and get back in the house tonight. Sending a hug for you. You are going through shit.

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 22-Apr-13 22:57:48

I wonder if the reason your mother is so unsupportive of you is because of how her own marriage went? By the sound of it they also drifted apart, but she stayed with him regardless (different generation, different expectations). You don't want to do that, and it seems to me that she is taking your decision to split with your husband almost as a criticism of her decision all those years ago. This could explain her desire that you don't split up - sort of validates her decision/life since then, IYSWIM. She's totally in the wrong though. Your life, your decision. The kindest interpretation I can put on her behaviour is that it frightens her and highlights what she could have/should have done with her own life, so she's doing the equivalent of putting her fingers in her ears and going 'la-la-la'.

I also wonder if she has set you a very bad example of married life and expectations too. Look at some of the things you have said -
- " 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"
- " The only thing he actually does is look after his own children while I go to work?!"
- "He has a physical job, I have a desk job, so I have always thought he needs to rest of an evening?"
No wonder you're so exhausted! You've been living this way for SEVEN YEARS - I wouldn't have lasted one. How can your husband not see that this has worked you into the ground? How could he not have taken some of the weight from your shoulders? How could he not have PULLED HIS WEIGHT?

Suffice to say, I really don't consider him to be a good husband or a good man. He has used you like a skivvy. And now he has the sheer gall to say "he feels like a glorified babysitter, only there when I need him to have the kids?!" Well, isn't that how he has treated you for seven years?

He is not 'lashing out' because you have 'broken his heart'. He is showing his true colours and trying to bully you back into being his domestic servant. If he gave a damn he'd be trying to make you feel loved and valued. He isn't doing that, is he.

Go to your counselling session tomorrow and do not be guarded. Tell them everything.

wordyBird Mon 22-Apr-13 23:50:33

Hope you were able to get home safely, Overtired.
Take care, and good luck tomorrow.

Seabright Tue 23-Apr-13 07:20:57

Hope you got into the house safely. Good luck with the counsellor

bleedingheart Tue 23-Apr-13 09:05:41

I hope you got in okay, OTM. I honestly don't know how you have sustained this for so long.
When I read the OP I did think maybe you are exhausted and addressing the wrong problem but the more I read the more your H sounds like a controlling bully.
People want affirmation of their own choices so don't always react with your best interests.

TumbleWeeds Tue 23-Apr-13 09:10:47

Hi OP how ate you doing today? Did you need to call the police in the end so you can go back in your own house?

Hope you are OK (((hugs)))

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 23-Apr-13 09:14:15

I agree you're doing the right thing. J because the relationship looks good "on paper" doesn't mean a thing if you don't feel it.

Wrt your job, could you maybe get an evening nanny or an au pair if you have a second bedroom?

Overtiredmum Tue 23-Apr-13 09:48:28

Thank you everyone for your responses and wishes.

Thankfully, it wasn't necessary to call the Police, but I am unhappy with the position he put me in.

Today, he has decided that he will "help" with the DC until I am able to get my job sorted and working days. It will probably mean switching employers, but since I'm having a fresh start, I may as well go the whole hog!

WRT my mum, I have realised that I need to stop discussing the situation with her. I spoke to her last night to discuss the point that H was refusing the help with the DC so I could work, her response was "Well if you need him, you'd best give him a glimmer of hope!" They were her literal words! She was even condoning his response "Well I won't talk to him, theres nothing I can say if hes had enough".

His attitiude is changing several times a day, and I am fearful of what he will come out with next. I have told him to just do what is best for him now, I got up this mornning to him asking if he could sleep in our bed with me tonight?!

I am still fearful to see the counsellor today, hes making me feel like a freak by saying I am unwell. I will just go, be honest and see how it goes. Appointment is at 11.30am.

I know he loves his DC but I will not have him using them to get back at me.

I've been on here for years and have seen how the support of others has helped change peoples lives for the better and I am really feeling your support, so please keep talking to me.

BestestBrownies Tue 23-Apr-13 10:11:05

Hi Overtiredmum

You are doing the right thing. You do not exist to prioritise other adults happiness over your own. Stick to your guns. It will be tough for the next few weeks, but you are a strong, capable and resourceful woman. You can do it. In six months time, you'll be kicking yourself for not having done this years ago.

I am almost six months down the line from leaving my husband (no DC to consider though). I had similar reactions from my friends and family because they couldn't understand why I would want to leave such a 'lovely' man. Fortunately, they supported me even if they disagreed with my decision (eventually, after much explaining on my part as to the reasons I was so unhappy).

Get it all out in the counselling session today. You will feel so much better for it.

fubbsy Tue 23-Apr-13 11:07:37

Your h seems to be showing his true colours now. sad Him telling you that you are unwell is classic controlling, manipulative behaviour. Threatening to lock you out of the house? Bullying, pure and simple.

My mother was a lot like yours, by the sound of it. She had no interest in my feelings (or anyone else's really) and was very dismissive of them. I ended up adopting a similar strategy to yours. I would not talk to her about my feelings or anything personal.

Good luck with the counselling. It is scary, I was scared when I went. The process probably won't be easy, but I hope you will find it helpful.

TumbleWeeds Tue 23-Apr-13 11:19:10


Can I say again.

You are NOT unwell!!

You have just decided that you had enough and want to move out of a relationship and that doesn't make you 'unwell'. Actually, from what you are saying, I would say you are quite sane, very strong and have your head well on your shoulders!

Don't listen to your H. He seems to have a very strange way of looking at things that are all about him. Look at what he is saying. So you will need him to look after the dcs during the evening. And what about him? Does he not need you to look after the dcs during the day too?
He says he will have to take the dcs with him if you don't have a day time job so he can help you??? Do you really think he will look after 2 young dc on his own wo you preparing everything etc? because from what you are saying he won't tbh.
What he is doing is blowing hot and cold to destabilize you. He is still putting you down, saying you are 'clearly unwell' if you want to move out of the marriage. How many other things is he saying to put you down again?

And BTW, do NOT let him into your bed again. You are separating, yes he is still in the house atm. But you don't have to share your bed with him.

bleedingheart Tue 23-Apr-13 11:30:05

He wants to put you off seeing the counsellor because he knows it wil provide the outside validation of your feelings that he and your mother are conspiring to deny you

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 23-Apr-13 12:31:07

"I am still fearful to see the counsellor today, hes making me feel like a freak by saying I am unwell. I will just go, be honest and see how it goes. Appointment is at 11.30am."
Putting you off seeing a counsellor is EXACTLY what his 'unwell' drip-drip-drip is aiming to achieve. He doesn't want anything to change - he likes things as they are, with you ground down with exhaustion and him doing sweet fuck all angry.

As for your mother -she's another one who doesn't want change, because you staying in a bad marriage validates her decision to stay in hers. She needs to fuck off and realise it's not all about her, the selfish bag. God, you really are surrounded by selfish people! You deserve better.

I hope your first counselling session is going well.

quietlysuggests Tue 23-Apr-13 12:45:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fubbsy Tue 23-Apr-13 13:06:09

Ah quietly now you are sounding like my mother. When I told her that I was not happy, she would say that I was over-tired.

LadyInDisguise Tue 23-Apr-13 14:33:50

quitely what about the issue is the other way around?

That the OP feels absolutely crap, exhausted etc.. because of her DH behaviour.
Do you think that leaving it for longer 'whilst recovering' will help? Do you think she will even have the chance of actually getting better?
Because, tbh, her H doesn't seem in any way ready to support her at all.

I really don't think this would be the right thing to do for the OP and I am normally the last one to say 'LTB' but would rather go for the 'try and work it out first'. Not in that case though.

LadyInDisguise Tue 23-Apr-13 14:36:26

The OP's H will NOT help do the cleaning/cooking etc.. He is coming back home from a hard day at work and he is doing a physical job. So clearly he can not possibly help.
Working during the day would mean less money for the family and still the same amount for work for the OP.

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