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I am thinking of sending a letter to my husband: what do you think?

(88 Posts)
BranchingOut Sun 21-Apr-13 14:16:56

Dear DH

There have been a number of times in the period since DS was born when you have said that you held doubts about our relationship and questioned whether you would rather be separated/divorced. The most recent was a few weeks ago, in the car returning from our visit to X TOWN, and again when we were talking in bed the following night.

So I have had plenty of opportunity to think about what the future might be like as a separated couple. I have had to accept that hurt and live with the fact that, although these statements seem to gradually get brushed under the carpet, we continue with our day to day existence knowing, both of us, that you are not fully committed to me and to our shared future. I also increasingly have had to accept that the feeling you don’t really want me, for my own sake as your wife or the woman you love. I can’t remember when you last paid me a compliment or said that I have done something well. I feel that you just tolerate me, put up with me as second best, something mediocre, because I ‘come with the package’ of the house, DS and being a family man. This comes from your body language, from what you say and how you speak to me, especially in front of DS.

Accepting this is painful and I have had to look elsewhere to retain my pride and sense of self-esteem: to my own rational mind, to the love of my son, the pleasure and fulfilment I get from work and study, to the colleagues who value my work and to the occasional contact with my sister or friends.

Likewise, I feel that another casualty of our present relationship situation has been the opportunity for me to show weakness. I try really hard to keep on top of everything: working, household stuff, studying, being a good and patient mother to DS. But sometimes I need your help. Last Tuesday evening was one such time, when I was feeling low and mentally and emotionally exhausted from dealing with DS. This morning was another - I didn’t want to ‘make you the bad guy’ and I am sorry if I gave that impression, I just wanted practical help in getting home safely with the bags, scooter and a heavy three-year-old who had been trying to run away. But you seem to resent me having needed your help in these parenting situations, on Tuesday in particular. I would love to return to the feeling of give-and-take, that I can help you out when you need it, without recriminations, and that you would do the same for me.

The option that you have alluded to several times is to go our separate ways. Yet I do want to remain married. You know me better than any living person. I still love you and also hold you in high regard as father to DS. I don’t want him to grow up in a separated family, without the advantages that we could give him if we remain together.

Likewise, I don’t want you to be unhappy. I am sorry that you are unhappy. Why would I want you to be anything other than happy?

I want to be with you and I am prepared to ride-out a time of difficultly. I have often said that this phase of parenting is known to be hard work, for all couples. But I feel that we, together, need to make positive changes and a fresh commitment to our marriage.

Some ideas of what this might mean in practical terms:

Committing to an evening together, in the diary every week
Committing to a night away together, every six weeks.
A series of counselling sessions
Attending a parenting course together
Using a relationship textbook or workbook to bring a new perspective

I am sure that neither of us wants to live in this situation of uncertainty indefinitely and if necessary, I think we should agree a point in time when we review the situation and decide if we want to move forward together or make alternative plans.

With love, as always,

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 08:10:17

Joint counselling is not usually recommended where there is a serious imbalance of power in a relationship. The dominant party will use it as a soap-box for their alleged grievances only. If someone doesn't want to listen to their partner but prefers to ridicule/dismiss/blame them, it makes very little difference whether they are with a counsellor, reading a letter or just having a conversation.

domoarigato Mon 22-Apr-13 10:40:49

If my husband behaved this way to me I wouldn't put up with it. I wouldn't let him treat me that way for 5 hours let alone 5 months. Why don't you put a cracker up his butt and ask for a trial sseparation. He'll soon realise the grass isn't greener... because this is the problem he has isn't it? I feel angry for you just thinking about his attitude. Don't give him the letter... you need to act strong, not vulnerable... even if you don't really feel that way.

Dozer Mon 22-Apr-13 20:09:26

Dear branching out,

You sound so sad. Your H is a cock and has been treating you very very badly for years. Don't spend your energy trying to get through to him. You already gave it your all and can't make him love you or treat you right, which isn't your fault.

Seek support for yourself, ideas for a happier life, consider why you have put up with his nastiness for so long. Those (albeit few) friends and family - get in touch with them!

Ideally, kick him out!

Yours sincerely,


kittybiscuits Mon 22-Apr-13 20:28:45

I'm with dozer smile , you deserve much better than this branching out x

LifeSavedbyLego Tue 23-Apr-13 08:33:58

I'm with the poster whose heart sank when they read you wanted to stay with him.

The letter is fantastic but is he really worth it?

Lucylloyd13 Tue 23-Apr-13 09:25:26

How i feel for you.

The answer is probably that it doesn't matter whether you send this to him, or try to talk him through it, the problem is he does not want to listen.

the start point is, if he doesnt want to listen, there is no point in going on.

ipswitch Tue 23-Apr-13 10:03:12

I am very sorry. I feel for you but think you are grasping at straws. Sounds to me like its over too.

I think you should not send this letter. It makes you seem a bit needy and him all powerful still. If you want to say these things to him, say it face to face to see his reaction. Too be honest it does not sound like either of you are making the other feel happy at the moment, or have done for the some time.

Move on. Chin up. You sound like a lovely person and need to flourish and grow, not be potbound.

BranchingOut Tue 23-Apr-13 10:05:38

An update.

I am very, very glad that I posted on here, rather than just sending it.

I may still send a letter, but not yet and maybe a slightly different letter.

Reading your replies was incredibly helpful (thank you) and, although I can't quite pick out which individual points have made made the difference, there has been a slight shift in my thinking.

I know that a few of you are rather incredulous that I would want to stay together, given the 11 days/five months episode, but there are a number of factors that meant that I was not quite strong enough when we had that episode in 2010/11, to say 'that's not good enough for me'. Whether that was because I had a one year old at the time, had just fallen off the career ladder, my lifelong pattern of trying to overcome a bullying family member, a feeling of being somewhat alone in the world apart from DH due to bereavement and a family that has more or less gone its separate ways...anyway, I could not do it at that point in time. However, I was strong enough at the time to stay fairly cool, to call his bluff and say that if he really felt that way, we could part.

When he did indicate that he wanted to resume our normal relationship, I did decide to put it behind us, because I felt that a marriage is important enough to want to hang on to, that I was prepared to forgive the hurt and move forward. But you are right, he did not really apologise at the time and sometimes even seems to have completely forgotten the whole episode...hmm

All of your comments have been helpful, but a couple of things in particular have made a difference to my thinking in the last 48 hours:

1)The fact that Sunday's row was over parenting and him not wanting to support me in disciplining our son, right before DH was due to leave on a work trip for the rest of this week. I suppose I have always thought that I can live with him not loving me as he used to, that I can accept that limited form of relationship and live in hope that things will get bettter, on the basis that we are going to work together to raise DS. But if not, if we are not going to support each other with parenting, then well, what is the point?

2) *"In fairness, the 11 days plus five months episode was 2010-11, and I did decide to forgive that and put it behind us in order to give the marriage another try. "
Oh Branching, it's now 2013 and you HAVE given the marriage another try. A substantial try. And look at how it has worked out - you are writing a letter to him because he'll use his articulacy to twist it if you try to say it to his face*

As above, time slips by and...when exactly is it going to get better?


So, yesterday, after a miserable Sunday thinking about all this, I telephoned in the morning and got a short-notice appointment with a solicitor, which I attended yesterday afternoon. Not because I am planning to do anything right now, but because it seems to be the next logical step.

It was hugely helpful, even though I did not have paperwork or all relevant facts/figures in my mind. It was just so good to have an independent, professional person put to rest some of the things i have been concerned about.

One thing that stands out was the solicitor's reaction when I told him our respective salaries and said that one issue in our marriage has been DH thinking that i don't contribute enough financially and that I should get a better paid job. The look of incredulity on his face then said it all...

I am going to hang fire for now and don't know quite what the future will hold, but I feel much better for having taken that step.

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 23-Apr-13 10:20:27

You sound like a lovely person branching, and your husband really doesn't! Good luck in the future.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 23-Apr-13 10:28:25

Glad you've taken the step of talking to a solicitor. When you're thinking about the future of your marriage it's a very emotional and stressful thing. Talking to someone who can cut through the tantrums and tiaras and give you rational information from an outside perspective can be very calming and also help you cross what my friend calls the 'mental bridge'. I think it represents both progress and personal development. Good luck

ipswitch Tue 23-Apr-13 10:38:19

Totally agree with above posters.
Options and information can only be a good thing and will hopefully help you in your difficult choices ahead.
I suspect you will be fine and come out of this stronger.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 23-Apr-13 10:44:04

Well done Branching. The look of horror on your solicitors face was probably worth the money alone - because it validated your feelings, it supported you, allowed you to give space to the idea that your H is truly unreasonable.

You have found support on here too and I'm so glad it's helped fortify you. The strength is within you to make the right decision for you and your DS. As you say, your H isn't helping you raise him. And he isn't giving you any real love or pleasure or support.

He is failing at being your partner and obviously has been for quite some time - and he doesn't seem to care. Accepting that it hard. But you can have a dazzling future if you follow your true instincts, step by step.

Earlier I said my heart sank reading your letter - well, it just bobbed up again smile

bleedingheart Tue 23-Apr-13 11:13:47

Now I have read the other thread I am amazed you want to be with him. Greedy, entitled, selfish man! I would be amazed if anyone could meet his requirements.

bleedingheart Tue 23-Apr-13 11:16:28

Good luck going forward branching. You deserve so much more.

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 23-Apr-13 11:39:27

I sent an email to my then H in 2010, explaining as clearly and honestly as I could, why living in a house with him and 2 young adults, none of whom helped with the housework, led to a messy house and a depressed me.

He didn't reply.

I followed up with a prompting email.

He didn't reply.

I printed it out and confronted him.

At first he didn't reply.

Then he said 'Deal with it then' (words to that effect)

This is how I eventually dealt with it: In 2011 I filed for divorce. He was an abusive FW (though not violent) and I am grateful to the EA thread for opening my eyes.

I haven't read your other thread, but I'm betting it will ring bells for me.

Thisisaeuphemism Tue 23-Apr-13 11:49:03

I'm glad you didn't send the letter and I'm really glad you saw a solicitor.

He really thinks the problem is you.

It is not you. Keep on branching out.

Branleuse Tue 23-Apr-13 11:58:40

well done on seeing the solicitor and never forget youve got options.

You do not need him

I would start to get your finances in order asap

poozlepants Tue 23-Apr-13 12:04:15

I think what you've written is great and if you feel he doesn't listen while you are talking then it makes sense. However I wouldn't give him a list of options to consider. I think you should suggest what you really want so if you want to go to counselling then do that. Otherwise he may pick the away weekend it'll happen once and then it'll be another 3 months down the line and he'll think he's made an effort.

sandyballs Tue 23-Apr-13 12:09:12

It's a great letter and extremely articulate, you come across as a warm lovely kind person who is making a huge effort to keep your marriage going, for yourself and your son.

My initial thoughts though are that the letter makes you vulnerable and gives him all the power. Again. It's all about you trying your best to make things work, what about him? It's almost pleading and I'm not sure you should be putting yourself in this situation. not sure if I've explained myself particularly well there but I hope you know what I mean.

A better tact perhaps would be to hold your head up high, get out and make new friends, join groups, whatever it takes, however difficult it feels and even if you feel completely miserable. Take the focus off him to make you happy and see what he does.

He sounds a cock and he doesn't deserve you, leaving you hanging around like this, it is emotional abuse. Who the fuck do some of these men think they are!

olgaga Tue 23-Apr-13 12:11:56

I think you've done the right thing not sending the letter and in taking the action you have.

You might find the advice and links here helpful for background information in addition to the legal advice you're getting.

Jenny0101 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:48:05

I agree with the poster who says that he can't possibly be 50% more articulate than you are. He sounds like my x in that I was the articulate one but he instantly repeated what I had said back to me but with an entirely different negative meaning. That is not articulate, it is toxic, and it is arguing 'dirty'.

It was a good letter but I agree now that the right thing to do was to not send it. I agree that it won't make him value you more. He'll be irritated. I wrote my x hundreds of letters over the years. All of them were reasoned, articulate, not asking for anything that I wasn't offering myself (eg, respect, consideration, equality in the relationship). Never did me the blindest bit of good though.

JaxTellerIsAllMine Tue 23-Apr-13 13:24:13

Branching, I am glad you sought out a solicitor and got some clarity for your feelings and validity too. Not that there was any doubt in my mind, but for yourself.

The problem is him, not you. sad

HansieMom Tue 23-Apr-13 16:16:25

Would you PLEASE take your 90K inheritance out of the joint account and put it in your account? It was given to YOU.

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 23-Apr-13 16:39:43

Fuck! YYY to this. When did you come by the inheritance - as depending on when this is he may try to claim half if you divorce.

And I know of what I speak.

NatashaBee Tue 23-Apr-13 16:56:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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