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can you restore a relationship where the feeling seems to have gone completely?

(20 Posts)
Thebrightsideoflife Sat 11-May-13 05:45:56

In October 11 my DH and I had a bit of a spat: he was nagging me about housework and I told him that his nagging just made me hate him and if he didn't like the levels of housework being done (I work FT and commute), he could leave. He took a huff for a month (no communication past the bare minimum) and during that month, I went on a rollercoaster of emotion - I made an effort; then thought sod him; then worried about our marriage; then decided it must be over. I realised I wasn't too bothered so when he came home from work one night and gave me a hug and told me redundancy was mentioned that day and we needed to stick together, I was fairly repulsed, especially when he tried to act as though the previous month hadn't happened.

I genuinely think he might have been looking for a reason to end the huff, rather than just using me (I think he loves me but its a bit controlling this love). I said I would support him etc but made it clear that things had changed and at that point it was mostly on the physical side - I really didn't want any of that any more (and haven't done since).

He was made redundant in Feb last year and he managed to negotiate a good redundancy package, which he calls "his savings".....he has worked hard to get other jobs and does lots round the house. we have 3 DC (7,11,12) and he adores them and is a brilliant Dad.

In the meantime, I am going to work every day and enjoying my kids at home but I really don't feel anything for my DH and I am starting to hanker after the benefits of being single. I'm carrying quite a lot of resentment about the fact that whilst I am planning for nothing (partly due to our financial situation - he has periods of no work and long periods with low paid work), he is thinking about family holidays and new cars, because he has "his savings".

I feel quite strongly that it is probably time to get out but before I go (!!!) does anyone think there is ANY WAY I can revive my feelings. Have any of you been in my position before and resurrected your marriage from the ashes?? Would really love to hear from you! x

Fairylea Sat 11-May-13 06:16:45

Fairly short reply from me but I don't think it's fair he has savings when you're financially struggling! I know people disagree but for me being a partnership and family is about sharing finances so you both end up with the same spending money and are contributing equally. It seems that's just a part of the general lack of partnership.

For me I'd have to leave. It doesn't sound like there's any love left. But I know some others might suggest counselling..... I think there's a massive lack of respect from him towards you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-May-13 06:19:24

How were things before the spat? Were you generally on good terms or was the spat a 'last straw' situation? Was being nagged about housework a regular occurrence? Did you feel valued as a DW or taken for granted? Is sulking for a month normal behaviour for him? Is he normally so possessive about 'his money'?

Whether you can revive your feelings entirely depends on you. Firstly regarding motivation... do you actually want to feel better and stay married or is the mounting resentment & disappointment with your life overwhelming? Secondly regarding expectation of him changing behaviour/attitude... you know him better than anyone and how likely is it that he would take on board ideas such as couples counselling?

Then there are a few things to think about besides. If you feel resentful that you are the only one pulling your weight financially and practically, the single life just means you do this 100% of the time. When there's no-one there to fall back on or share workload with you're very much 'it' and there's no-one to blame.

Related to that, you could consider a trial separation. If the atmosphere at home is so acrimonious, some time apart may be enough to demonstrate to everyone what they stand to lose... or gain as the case may be.

Thebrightsideoflife Sun 12-May-13 08:53:20

Thanks for your thoughts Fairylea.
Cogitoergosometimes - we were okay before the spat, although the spat was fairly typical of our relationship prior to that!! I was shocked that he went into such a huff and assumed that there was something more going on and so talked myself into thinking it was over. I don't need to say, I'm sure, that I am hesitating mostly because of the kids. And it's for the kids that I wanted to know if there was any chance of resurrecting the relationship. I've read a couple of articles in the past about women getting to the same place as me but then something changed and turned it all around. At the time I read them, I wasn't in that place and didn't pay enough attention. But once upon a time we did love each other....where's that gone and can I get it back?
I'd hate to paint myself as a saint in all of this and although I don't regret our 14 years of marriage, I'm in a place now whether something needs to change or I'm off.
I'd be fairly interested in a separation within the marital home and I've read threads where people have tried this. There's nobody else and I think it would less disruption. I think I need to separate our finances first off - do you know of anyone doing that and are there any lessons you would be able to share? Thanks for your reply, I'm really grateful x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-May-13 09:21:47

It's impossible to resurrect a relationship single-handed. Where couples have turned it around it tends to be when both are feeling 'where did it go and how can we get it back?' i.e. motivated ... and are then both willing to take advice & change they way they relate to each other. Team effort in other words. You say 'something needs to change or I'm off' and the only person you can guarantee changes is you. If you change and he doesn't that solves nothing and will only leave you feeling more frustrated.

Separation within the marital home is not a good solution for most. I'm sure it looks appealing on the practical level but it can be highly disruptive emotionally because it doesn't resolve any of the communication issues that lead to the constant sniping. It also prevents you from moving past the relationship and developing as an individual. How would you feel if your now ex-H wanted to bring his new girlfriend round, for example? Think carefully about that set-up because it can be very stressful for yourself and the DCs

Some separation of finances is always a good move, whether you stay married or not. smile Always have your own money.

HerrenaHarridan Sun 12-May-13 10:53:02

Tbh I think you already know the answer in your case.

In general I wouldn't say it's impossible in all cases though.

If you want to find your answer go to him not us, reach out to him, stand close to him while you talk to him about the price of milk, touch his hand or arm from time to time affectionately. Look him in the eyes and smile at him.

go to him once the kids are in bed, suggest you cuddle up and watch a film.

Make a concerted effort to be physically close, ( not necessarily intimate, although a few kisses wouldn't go amiss) and see how he reacts, he may be delighted and you'll see a side of him you haven't seen for years and remember why you love him or it might leave you cold but at least you'll know you tried.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-May-13 13:07:00

Never reward sulking with reaching out, standing close and cuddling up.... it's completely the wrong message.

DaemonPantalaemon Sun 12-May-13 14:03:16

I said I would support him etc but made it clear that things had changed and at that point it was mostly on the physical side - I really didn't want any of that any more (and haven't done since)

So you no longer have sex at all, and you don't want to? Then the relationship really is over. Because what you have now sounds like a housemate with whom you have children, and a housemate you do not particularly like at all.

For both your sakes, and the sakes of your kids, go for an amicable split.

HerrenaHarridan Sun 12-May-13 14:19:25

Cogito, I believe op said he was sulking ages ago and that stopped with the threat of redundancy.

The op wants to know if its fixable and I was trying to suggest a way she can find that out before deciding wether or not to leave him, I wasn't suggesting that every time he gets the hump she encourages it by flirting with him

butterflymeadow Sun 12-May-13 14:20:01

Well, surely they are not his savings, they arw family money. It may be he feels that his contribution is domestic, but if your salry is covering joint bills, his savings should be seen as joint and you should have a say in how they are saved or spent. If your salary goes into a joint acc, and his name is on the redundancy savings acc, he is taking the piss.

I had one of these, and I can't offer any constructive advice bcause I initiated separation in the end. There was a lot of other stuff, but his saving his money whilst I was running an overdrfaft to pay for the household bills and what the children needed was a factor.

crazyhead Sun 12-May-13 19:33:05

I think that you sound like an excellent candidate for Relate or similar, ideally together, but potentially you alone to begin with. There sounds like such a jumble of issues here, and you sound so exhausted with it.

If the relationship is to continue I think you'd need to find something 'real' that you want in it underneath the mess, and counselling is a good place to start.

Also, if the relationship is over, I think having tried to speak to someone/sort out your feelings carefully will give you more peace in the long run (it did me, in this situation)

Alwayscheerful Sun 12-May-13 19:47:06

It's not too late.

Can I urge you to fast forward, imagine yourself on your own, worrying about being a single parent, csa payments and the thought of sharing your children with a step mother, negotiating access weekends, holidays and sharing your children's birthdays and Christmas. Even think about meeting someone with children and dealing with an x wife? Consider the effect on your children. Do you think a new life will be stress free or will you just swop one set of problems for another?
Try as Herrera suggested, you will never bring back the intimacy unless you try spending time just the two of you and give yourselves the opportunity to become close, don't give up,it might just be worth it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 13-May-13 07:08:51

Or... imagine a life on your own, feeling comfortable, happy and relaxed in your own home, having time to yourself when your co-parent looks after the children, the possibility for a social life/learning new skills/ travelling, the opportunity to earn your own money supported by maintenance from the co-parent and maybe ... although not essential... even meeting someone new that you truly connect with.

And consider the effect on your children... being trapped in a home with parents that don't get on with each other. Watching the low-level sniping & resentment occasionally spill over into yet more arguments and week-long sulks. Learning as they live there that being husband and wife is a miserable, unpleasant relationship that makes no-one happy

You know life is stressful maintaining the status quo. The future is entirely what you make it.

Alwayscheerful Mon 13-May-13 10:50:58

Cogito- good points, I myself would give similar advice to someone in an EA relationship but I did not recognise this one as such from just one thread. If the relationship is truly EA then yes do everything in your power to end it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 13-May-13 11:12:35

I don't think it's necessary to put a label on a relationship to justify ending it. If the OP is truly unhappy, that's all the justification she really needs

HerrenaHarridan Mon 13-May-13 11:40:40

Your both right smile

Tbh from her post it sounds like she will decide to leave, but without knowing all the nuances we can't really say.

If they cannot rekindle feelings towards each other I would absolutely advocate splitting, however when there are children involved you have to know you have tried everything to make it work.

Thebrightsideoflife Tue 14-May-13 15:35:36

Wow thank you all for your thoughts. Tbh, I can't bring myself to do the intimacy thing and i think it's because I am harbouring too much resentment about other things. I did contact Relate a couple of months ago but couldn't go through with it because I didn't want that to be the place that I laid it all out for him, in front of a stranger. When he announced at Xmas - to the kids - that we were all going on a 2-week holiday of a lifetime to the USA using "his savings" (and despite him being unemployed at the time), I realised things were really out of control and I said so. He tends to dismiss most things that I have to say and I've really had enough of that. What I lack, I think, is the courage to say enough with this way of living and start putting the new way in place. I think I will go back to Relate again and get it all out and then take it from there. I know what you are saying Alwayscheerful about the future scenarios but I can't stay as we are - I've moved on mentally and I need to do it physically now. Thank you all again

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 14-May-13 15:44:37

It sounds as if you are living like divorced people anyway in a lot of ways. Separate saving, no sex or intimacy, him playing Disney Dad at Christmas, not talking for a month.

Before the redundancy, was money treated as joint? Because it seems bizarre that you were paying the bills and his redundancy money is separate.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-May-13 15:44:58

You can talk to Relate as an individual. You don't have to turn up as a couple. They might be able to help you turn a bad marriage into a good split...

Ilikethebreeze Tue 14-May-13 16:05:24

You need to have long financial chats to get to a point where you are both happy.

You personally need to work through with him the "huff" month.
You are left with a lot of resentment which has left the marriage in huge jeopardy.

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