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Mid Life or Over?

(129 Posts)
KittyB01 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:03:25

My husband of 15 years has closed down over the last 8 months - we have had moments of happiness, have been intimate (although this stopped a month ago) have tried to keep talking, he just says he is evaluating his life and everything in it. We have 2 lovely children, a nice life, nothing too fancy.. just a nice life, with good friends and close family. We have always been a very sociable couple and he has tried to keep this going although it is getting harder and harder for me to be with him around friends as I miss the closeness we shared. I have felt the distance growing and now a couple of weeks ago he told me that he thinks he wants to move on, says he can start to see how it might be without me, starting over with somebody else (he has promised me there isnt anybody else and I do believe him). He says we both deserve happiness which of course we do, but I am devastated as I have tried to support him over the last 8 months by just being there and I feel he hasn't given our marraige a fair chance. When he told me, I suggested two options, either we talk seriously about what he's going to do and how we are going to split up, or I asked him to reconsider and just see if there was any possibility of second chances. He knows how much I love him, feels guilty at the pain he is causing. Despite these words, he is still here. He said he knows he needs to make the decision, but he is now talking to me about things we are doing in May and June, still kissing me goodbye albeit briefly in the morning, still giving me the odd cuddle in bed. I am so, so confused. Is this him trying to see if he can give it a chance still, or is it him trying to make me feel less sad by just being nice whilst he is here? I know you will say I have to talk to him, but I'm scared to push him and that talking further will just mean the end. For the sake of our relationship and our family, if this is just a MLC I am of course prepared to wait longer. If he is thinking about leaving still, then I know he needs to go and I need to be strong. Interested in what people think, perhaps people that have been there - thank you so much in advance x

fuckitybollocks Tue 23-Apr-13 21:26:16


KittyB01 Thu 25-Apr-13 17:55:31

Since we had "the chat" he's been so much more attentive and reassuring - giving me chapter and verse about what he's doing at work, asking if it's OK for him to go out and play sport that sort of thing. He took me for dinner a couple of times and we've been talking about our memories of when we first met. He seems happier in himself but I'm not sure if thats because he has got everything off his chest and now he is effectively living the life with me (and OW if there is one one the go) or whether he is actually thinking about second chances at our marraige. I know I have to ask him what decision he's made and perhaps give him a timescale before I make it for him. I just don't want him throwing back in my face that I told him to leave when it all goes nasty, which I expect it will at some point.
Those of you who have suggested that if there isn't an OW he should still respect my view that he needs to move out so we can both get our heads straight makes the perfect sense to me. Of course he won't want to give up his comfortable home and to leave his children will break his heart, but I know I must think about my self-respect and my self-esteem. I went for a walk today and was talking out loud to myself (!!) about what I should do.. the fact that I don't trust him at the moment the fact that I am sad but angry that he is holding me in limbo like this. I definitely need to get away for a bit too to clear my head - I have a job that I love but needs constant attention and so this is clearly a distraction for me which is good, but as soon as I'm on my way home my mind starts to lurch in different directions.
Those of you who have been through this and are out the other side I am so pleased for you... if only we could fast forward a few years and see where we are. At the moment of course I would choose for my family to be intact and its so frightening to think of the prospect of it not. I am not scared to be on my own, but I just love him so much and life without him by my side seems the worst nightmare. I know that a lot of that is fear talking, but you get what I mean.
And so tonight I am planning to talk to him tomorrow. I know that sometimes tomorrow never comes, but I can't envisage going to work tomorrow if I'm brokenhearted. At least then we have the weekend to talk more. I don't want him to leave, but I can't go on much longer like this before going crazy.

debtherat Thu 25-Apr-13 20:18:06

Sending you best wishes for your talk with your OH. I have been through similar craziness lately - there was an OW. My husband is making minimal effort that I can see - I find it hard to accept any of his kind comments, compliments. I hate, hate, hate the fact that he has made me feel so second rate and he seems to be moving forward expecting me to just forgive and forget. .. while at the same time arranging to meet for drinks/chats/sympathy with his female friends and expecting me to organise weekend break for us. He also spoke about wanting to try life with another person, finding happiness with someone else because of course I have been, am? neglectful, too focused on kids - not a problem at the moment somehow - funny that isn't it - maybe the next most beautiful woman in the world will make him think so again! I find his words of kindness so hollow and forced because I need to protect my emotions and he has changed from soulmate to enemy in such a short space of time. I am trying to hold myself tight and build my defences because this is the worst time of my life.

KittyB01 Fri 26-Apr-13 08:56:55

debtherat... I'm sorry to hear you've been through this recently too... what is it with these men saying they want to try life with another person and then telling us we look lovely and they still love us... It just doesn't make sense.. and certainly not what we deserve. I'm not sure whether being with somebody for so long makes them inconsiderate of our feeings in this respect.. my husband just seems to open his mouth and speak all of his thoughts regardless of whether the words will cut so deep - and then he just comes to bed??
What happened with the OW? It sounds like your husband is just as confused.. wanting weekend breaks etc. but it sounds like you are at the end of your tether. Is he still with you? What are you going to do?

SecretJewel Fri 26-Apr-13 19:42:58

Sounds very much like a mid life thing to me. Often this coincides with a sort of 'grass is greener' attitude towards your close relationships, I imagine. I don't think it necessarily means that there is already somebody waiting in the wings though.

What sort of heartache is it that he has been through? Do you think this could have unsettled him and triggered any of this?

debtherat Fri 26-Apr-13 23:13:17

I am going to go to Relate on my own; I am maintaining a watch but not hyper vigilant because I don't have the time. Am focused on two events - a family wedding (he has avoided family events for past 2 years) which he is very keen to attend and the OW birthday - any hint of gift will be fuel to the fire. On Monday he is meeting long standing female friend who I don't really know - he hasn't asked yet whether this is Ok practically (kids) or emotionally. Last time he did this - another platonic female friend - he lied and said he was meeting a group of people. .. and he admitted that he had spoken to her about the affair and our marriage. Not happy about this at all. I think the OW made him feel he could do better, live life without negative aspects of family life - me asking him to help with housework, do something with kids and as a family. He has mlc issues - new haircut, more appearance oriented, likes young groups/new music. Let's face it we all start feeling our age at times, would like to go to Rome for the weekend at drop of a hat, catch someone's eye but for mlc'ers it seems pathological. If this is phase which does not end then our marriage will end and probably our friendship with it.

KittyB01 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:42:32

secretjewel... I don't want to go into detail here as anonymity is important but lets just say we've had lots of tragic loss. He says that isn't the reason and he says that he hasn't been happy with our marriage for a long time, hasn't felt supported by me, things like that, which are all really hard to hear as I've always been there and considered we have had a strong marriage - I know all of our friends will be so shocked as they always teased us (up until only recently about how we were like a teenage couple when we were out.. very tactile etc)..
Sadly he sees things very black and white at the moment, mostly black.. and unfortunately picking all the negatives (that he sees) out of our relationship. Most things he mentions are distorted views of things and just doesn't want to hear my side of the story. A lot of the things he talks about just aren't as they seem to him.. He said I haven't made him feel desired and yet I've desired him daily.. of course there are somethings I can relate to and I'm devastated at these but ups and downs of a marraige, doesn't everyone go through? He just doesn't seem to want to fight at all for us and looks broken
He said Friday that he would have gone by now if he was 100% sure that he wanted to leave but he cannot give me any answers either way whether it's over or whether its something we can try and work on.. he's totally confused and he says he can't feel anything at the moment - this is why I have been thinking mlc but there are other things that don't fit with this.
I suggested that he move out for a bit to get his head straight but I'm not sure that's the best idea. He says he can't stand to see the pain I'm going through and although I try and hide it a lot of the time I find not having any physical intimacy with him impossible to cope with as we have always been so close.
My dilemma is whether to sit with this still and try and "live normally" or whether to insist he leaves. A lot of people here have said he should go but that could be the biggest mistake of all.. Perhaps I should go away for a bit and let him be on his own here, but then that's not reality of leaving is it?

DebtheRat; I hope Relate works for you, it's a shame he won't go with you. He sounds similar to my man, female friends and all that. I think they feel insecure and female contact makes them feel flattered. Mine has a couple of close female friends, one I trust implicitly and who is lovely and the other who I don't trust at all and who is vulnerable and needy herself. I know she makes him feel all wanted and special and he's drawn to her. He told me this weekend he has opened up to her about how he is feeling and I feel terribly betrayed. What happened to our husbands being "our" friends? Sadly if he moves out, I fear its only a matter of time before they become an item.. if they aren't already. i know what you mean about the marriage and then the friendship. There are times at the moment I feel drawn to him and want to be close and then there are others where I want to slap him and call him all the names under the sun.

At the end of the day, we do deserve better, there's no doubt about it. Its just so hard letting go...

AlnwickRose Sun 28-Apr-13 18:58:25

Leave him.

Or pack his bags for him.

That's genuinely the first time I've ever said that on here.

It's so obvious to an outsider.

He is surely loosing respect for you as you allow him to treat you this way. He will start to think you are pathetic.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 28-Apr-13 20:20:46

Sounds like he is re writing history - another part of the cheater's script, as they do this to make them look less guilty and less bad about choosing to check out of the marriage.

In fact everything he says is classic cheater's script.

YOU deserve better. Tell him to leave so that you both have the space and time to think about what you want.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 28-Apr-13 20:23:28

Your ONLY chance of saving the marriage is to get him to leave.

This will force the issue.

If he has been having an affair, LOSS is the only thing that motivates cheaters - as soon as he realises that the grass on the other side isn't greener, he might come back begging for another chance.

Lueji Sun 28-Apr-13 20:32:09

Don't leave!
He should be the one to.

He's not really sorry for you going through this.
Leaving would be more charitable as then you could start moving on. As it is, he's keeping you as a back up plan, possibly as a housekeeper. And he's keeping up appearances for outsiders. Then he's nice so he keeps your hopes up.
It's all for him, not you.

Personally, I'd tell him that if he's not sure, then I don't want to be with him.
Actually, just him playing this would be enough to make me lose my trust in him.
You will always be wondering if he has changed his mind, if you are being good enough for him and so on. It's not a good position to be in.

SecretJewel Sun 28-Apr-13 22:08:35

I think everybody's being a bit harsh here.

Completely understand you don't want to talk details on here, but going through a tragedy of any kind is a common reason for having these sort of thoughts, I think.

It doesn't mean that he has acted on them as yet, and he may still come to his senses before he does act on them.

Did the heartache you refer to not affect you as well?

If not, maybe what he's going through now is a very personal thing and not really a reflection of your relationship?

How has he been with the children? Any different to normal at all?

Springdiva Mon 29-Apr-13 01:35:43

Well, what is best for you Debtherat? Ok the DCs need to be looked after but you seem to be coming second fiddle to all his angst, and flirting, and swithering over whether to go or stay.

He can't be devastated at the thought of leaving the DCs AND having relationships with OWs.

I hope the counseling can help you decide what you want and need other than what he can, might or will/won't provide.

debtherat Mon 29-Apr-13 04:23:49

We had a major fall out the other evening...tried to talk about impact on me...his solution ... I should detach. No explanation for why he fell in love with someone just happened but background of feeling unloved by me, not sharing interests and passions apart from children. Things we liked in the past pre-children he now says he no longer likes - things he likes - endurance sports, new music - he knows I don't have same level of interest. He maintained he makes same housework effort including recent 1st time in 15 years whole house vacuum - not a big deal. He said love for OW was more than he'd ever loved me but backtracked when he saw the impact. He has a lot of anger/frustration - the man who held our two newborn DS called me - his faithful, trusting wife - a whore??!!! Sunday normal routine, he spent pm in pub with son's football team eating, drinking, nice as pie to everyone incl. me when I picked him up. Physical intimacy still and v. connected and special. This gives me hope. But so much confusion and pain.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 29-Apr-13 07:23:46

deb - have you posted before about your situation? You sound familiar. You need to grow some balls and take control of the situation - as it is he is messing with your mind, and prolonging the torture sad

He is having an affair because he wants to and because he is selfish and entitled - not because of something you are not doing or doing.

As I keep saying on here, LOSS is the only thing that works in these situations. As long as he is getting the best of both worlds - OW for the thrills and you to keep his house clean, wash his clothes and look after his DC, NOTHING will change. He will continue to take the piss out of you.

Stop being such a doormat.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Mon 29-Apr-13 09:59:58

Are you posting under two names?

If so you're saying ou still have hope?

AnyFucker Mon 29-Apr-13 10:06:37

Name change fail ?

Get some self respect love, and get rid of this dog currently strutting around with two dicks.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 29-Apr-13 11:16:31

debtherat - I have just read some of your old posts. You keep asking for advice but you are not listening to any of the several wise posters who gave great advice confused

I am not sure why you keep posting confused

WhiteBirdBlueSky Mon 29-Apr-13 11:42:37

I think you keep posting cos you want the answer to be different.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 29-Apr-13 12:05:45

I agree with those posters who've said to take back the control and make him leave.

He is making you out to be unsupportive etc because that way he doesn't have to admit the truth to himself, that he is behaving like a prick and all this is on him. He wants to still think of himself as a decent human being and the only way to do that is to convince himself that his bad behaviour is somehow your fault. It isn't.

You sound lovely. What he is doing to you is so cruel. You might find that when he actually goes, you feel better and happier. You won't be living with the constant stress of not knowing where you are.

Wrt to him imagining a life without you, well that's a two way street. The time will come when you start to contemplate living without him - it feels terrible and scary right now, but I promise you those thoughts tend to get less scary as times goes on. Even if you do end up staying together, it's a good thing to have thought about a life where he wasn't a part of it and know that you won't die without him. To know that a man who can behave in such a way is really not much of a prize and so it is possible to one day be very happy without him.

But first things first, stop letting him make all the choices - you need to upset his cosy little life where he gets to do as he pleases with no real regard for how you feel. He needs to experience the fear that comes with knowing the decisions aren't all his to make.

KittyB01 Mon 29-Apr-13 14:27:29

I think my problem is getting mixed up with Debtherats!

SecretJewel: The tragedies did affect us all, but he lost his sister and his close friend in the space of two years, both tragic deaths. It is very much affecting him and he hasn't really grieved. Thankfully he is brilliant with the children. He still does lots with them, still does his fair share around the home and still cooks dinner, fixes things, runs me baths, does the shopping, buys me flowers etc. so I'm not a glorified housekeeper as somebody suggested! He does obviously have a problem with our relationship and has drawn away physically and yes i agree with Karmabeliever (if you were messaging me...) that he is trying to make me think his behaviour is all my fault and I know it isn't. I know I can be strong and make it throught the other side if that's what I have to do. And i am going to make some decisions of my own now. I do feel I have turned a corner today after a terribly painful weekend. Friends have commented this weekend that I look sad and empty (friends who don't know what's going on).. well that's not good enough and I am going to find me again and start to take some time for myself.
Thank you people for your comments and advice. x

fedupofnamechanging Mon 29-Apr-13 14:36:28

Hi kitty - yes I was messaging you. I'm glad that you are going to start taking some of the decisions away from your H.

Springdiva Mon 29-Apr-13 17:11:05

Sounds to me like he has a whole ton of suppressed anger and frustration, and I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't know where it's coming from or why, hence the mood changes. Hence his nastiness to you. He wants to take it out on someone.

But your pleading and getting upset and trying to make him love you is only making it all worse, and more confusing.

Whatever decisions he makes in this mood will probably be the wrong ones for him.

I can't believe you are discussing hoovering the house and his choice of music. As if any of that matters.

Go to speak to a solicitor, as the first visit is free (from what I've heard on here), and find out where you stand if he leaves/ you ask for divorce/ he asks for a divorce. It doesn't matter who's doing what. Just take this first step, tell him or don't tell him, but get your head around the possibility of splitting up. Work out where you would live, how much money you would have, and start thinking sensibly about things, not this confusion and desperation that you have just now. It isn't helping either of you.

SecretJewel Mon 29-Apr-13 17:38:12

Hang on, she hasn't mentioned hoovering or music choices! Why does everybody keep thinking Debtherat is the OP?!?!?!?

So, Kitty - sounds like he is still there in person, still doing all your normal family activities, but his head is gone? It's impossible to know whether this is down to the level of loss he's been through, whether it's an OW, or even both.

When you see him all withdrawn and sad, does it look like grief, or does he seem like he's thinking of someone else?

I'm tempted to say give him time. Even if he has developed feelings for someone else, if he doesn't act on them would you be of the opinion that it might be better not to know?

I suppose the question is how much time is reasonable to give him with this? Are your children very young?

Springdiva Mon 29-Apr-13 21:31:28

Sorry, crossed threads!

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