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How do you separate without hating each other?(25 Posts)
I CBA to namechange. H will google or adsearch or trawl the boards or whatever he does do find my threads anyway, so not NCing will save him a bit of time.
I have left because I don't love my husband any more.
I am resentful of how much I support and basically subsidise him, emotionally, financially, domestically. There have been arguments and violence that our children have witnessed. This disgusts me and I am ashamed of my part in it.
He is a good man in many ways. I don't hate him. I take responsibility for my half of our problems.
We went to counselling. He has improved immeasurably since the counselling, he is less often pursuing, he is more responsible with money, he does not drink in secret (to my knowledge) or to excess.
It has not been enough to make me love him. If I could will myself to love him I would, for Christmas day and birthday parties and parent's evenings and Sunday dinners. I am still just as resentful and angry about past events as I was before we started.
I want to live by myself. I would like to have an amicable relationship with him but I can't because he loves me and it is breaking him that I do not love him back.
I have tried setting out schedules for the children to avoid conflict.
I have left him with the house and contents.
I keep getting angry with him when he tries to be 'friendly' because I feel the need to assert that we have split. This obviously upsets him. I see him every day almost as we share the children. He wants me back. I do not want to have intimacy of any form with him. He wants to reconcile, I want to affirm my separation.
There is no way to do this without getting upset is there? I need to control my emotional responses much more. I have suggested that we correspond by email, as it will give me time to measure it out.
Can anyone tell me how to do this? It is so hard. I know that this is my doing, and I have made it hard, but I cannot stay with someone I do not love.
You may no longer love him but do you still like him?
oh sorry just re read, he was violent towards you
are you safe now?
I think it's pretty hard. You really need to just cut off to be able make the break- it feels counter-intuitive because you don't want to feel hated after all you've shared, but it will actually be harder if it comes across that you are giving him warm friendly signals. There's no need to be rude or cruel, but you have to be dispassionate and treat him like a colleague you don't especially know. After the split, hopefully things will thaw, but I really don't believe you can remain close or even overtly friendly during the split.
It is really hard. The best thing to do is go minimum contact for the absolute necessities (children's access, house sale) by text.
This gives you both space to deal with your own stuff. Only after you process the fact your marital relationship is over can you start to build a new, friendship based relationship.
I know it sounds cruel, but it is really better to make a clean, definitive break and then start again.
It sounds as if you've left to escape an unhappy and unequal relationship, only to have the anguish and unhappiness reappear in a different form.
Dione is right. You may want to assert your boundaries more by going to minimal contact, using email and text communication. This will cause much less upset. Managing your emotional responses is much harder in practice than on paper, and you need a clean break to help you and everyone else involved.
You deserve some peace in your life Nagoo. Your post reads as if you've done your utmost to sort things out, and to help and support, but your needs matter too.
I don't think there can be many people that end a marriage fully amicably and without some sadness or upset. It's especially difficult if, like you, one party has had enough and the other is still trying. If you were very compatible and friendly, after all, you'd probably have stayed married. The best you can expect to happen is that you can deal with each other civilly and cooperatively while you work out your regrets in private. In your case, limiting contact might help your STBXH come to terms with it being over.
You should ask yourself if he really loves you or if it is about control.
His perceived changes may simply be too little too late or you may not be able to trust that they are lasting.
I have that with exH.
You need to tell him that although it's good he's changing he should do it for himself and the children primarily.
You may not be able to say never, but you don't think your trust and love can be regained, at least not easily.
And I second cutting contact to a minimum. It ends up being kinder for both of you because you'll be able to move on more easily.
XH and I are completely amicable because we no longer love each other. While one of you is hurting or angry then amicable is impossible. I understand what you mean about affirming the split, I did a fair bit of that. Being friendly feels dangerous and you want to keep your guard up. You are going to have to drastically cut contact. Handovers at the gate, text not call, do not sit down for a cuppa or a chat. Explain to him why you are doing it. And do you need to both see the children daily? If he has the house, why can't he have them at weekends and see them then?
I'm reading this thread with interest, sadly it strikes a chord with me. Finally managed to extricate from EXP nine months ago but I find contact so draining and upsetting.
I can't face doing 'at the gate handovers' after horrible memories of my divorced parents' stilted angry hangovers of me. DS comes first, so hangovers are 'friendly'.
EXP is adamant that texts can fuel the fires of miscommunication, so invariably if I text him about something (try to keep it to a minimum), he phones me.
I absolutely don't want him back. He insists he has, and will continue, to change, and loves me. I think he even believes it- but I don't think he's capable of changing. I am moving on better than I ever thought I would be capable of, having been gripped by a dysfunctional relationship that I wasn't brave enough to face up to (mainly for DS' sake) for years.
During contact and phonecalls he's either so nice to me that it's hard to deal with, or horribly angry and verbally abusive because I've moved on and finally faced up to the fact that the way I've been treated isn't ok.
I've tried cutting contact as much as possible without making things difficult for DS. EXP has on occasion taken this as an indication that I'm avoiding it because there's a chink of possibility that he could win me round.
Sorry to hyjack OP, really sorry. I just wanted to say I think I have an idea of how this can feel. Plus admittedly I felt the need to get this out of my system by putting it 'on paper'.
Sorry this is the first chance I have had to come back to the thread.
Thank you all for responding.
I will take it on board that he is in shock and has not had the time to absorb this like I have.
I will stop answering the phone and text him. I shall try to be civil but not too friendly. He needs time to come to terms with it.
I am feeling a bit more settled, I have nearly completed the quest for furniture, and I have been paid so I am less worried about things. The children are sleeping here this weekend I think I will be more confident once I know they can be happy here. That should help me contain my emotions a bit more.
Eric I hope to get to that point. He loves me a lot and he is very dependent on me for a lot so he is going to struggle. He was trying to talk to me about money today, I don't want to know, I will take my name off the joint account when we go to the bank next week. I have explained that it's not appropriate to contact me for support.
Our jobs mean that we need for me to do the school pick ups, and he needs to have them overnight while I work. I also believe that since the youngest is so small (3) it's better for her to see us as often as possible.
VeryCarefully it's not a hijack. I am very interested in your experience I have found it useful to write it down too.
OP I feel for you. Read what you have written. There are a few things you have written that don't correlate. You sound a little confused. You obviously care enough to feel responsible for his feelings and your part in the relationship. You talk about violence. Was it one sided?
There's a lot that you have written that is quite negative about yourself. How much of what has happened do you blame him/yourself for? You say it is of your doing. What is?
I have spent 11 years being responsible for his feelings. That is a big part of why I have left. The counsellor told me that I'm not responsible for his reactions to things and I found that a laughable concept. I haven't had enough time to work out how I feel when I am not reacting to him.
I blame myself for leaving and splitting up my family. I want to get to a place where my family is caused as little discomfort as possible as fast a possible. I could have shut up and nodded and smiled for a bit longer and he wouldn't have been unhappy.
I blame myself for being angry about things. The 'problems' in our relationship were not caused by me, I didn't do any of the 'dealbreaker' stuff. But I am unable to get over it, to let go of the resentment that I feel for things that happened in the past.
The violence was not one sided. But no violence is acceptable. I don't hit my children, I don't hit other people. I don't want to be with someone that goads me for three hours until I am punching myself in frustration because otherwise I will punch him. I have hit him before now. If I stayed I will do it again. He has hit me, our children have seen it. I will not be going back to that.
He is hoping to reconcile but I do not want to go back and return to this situation. I want to move on with my life in peace. I want to interact with him on a pleasant and superficial level. I don't dislike him. I don't want to be in a relationship with him.
Hit the children! Other people! Did/does he?
You say you are angry about things, then go onto say the 'problems' in your relationship weren't caused by you. From my experience, any relationship problem is always the responsibility of both parties. How angry have you been? Has he simply reacted against that?
You sound so confused In your OP you say that you take responsibility for your half of the problems. Reading your posts makes me think you don't know what you want yet. Give it time.
Are you sure you still don't love him?
No. It's something that only happens between us, is what I'm trying to say.
I appreciate you questioning me. I need the questions to help me think
I want to stop him from telling me about his feelings. I want to stop him from concerning me about his finances. I don't want to listen. I don't feel like I love him at all. I can see plenty to like about him, but I want to extricate myself from him emotionally.
Isn't that so sad
You say he has changed. How?
It doesn't sound to me as though you still love him at all, but you do have a shared history and children and you can't just switch off caring about somebody, so it's no wonder you're confused. Time and, importantly, distance - boundaries - will help with this.
Basically, you don't owe anybody a relationship. You certainly don't owe them love after 11 years of them sucking you dry. If he's learned from it and changed his ways, that is a good thing, for himself and for the DCs as you say, and also for any future partner. He can be a better person all round, but that still doesn't mean that he will turn into a good life partner for you, or that you are obliged to give him a chance to prove it.
Nagoo would you say he sucked you dry for 11 years? Surely you wouldn't have married him!
Sadly it sounds the relationship has broken down, there are always 2 sides to a story. It's a shame it got violent, but there had to be an instigator in that. You say that you want him to stop talking to you about his feelings, finances. Were you ever there to listen to them in the 11 years you had been together? Did he listen to yours?
" I want to extricate myself from him emotionally."
Best way to do that is through time and by keeping away physically. Takes effort in the early stages because your lives have been linked for a long time but, like any other habit, you can make a conscious effort to stop. Helps a lot if you stay apart, communicate only briefly (no long chats on the phone) and keep yourself as busy as possible doing other things. Do all that and one day you'll realise you haven't thought about him at all.
When relationship problems are due to one person being abusive towards the other then no, it's not down to both parties.
I'm surprised you describe domestic violence as 'a shame' and yes, there was an instigator, the OP's husband.
The fact that she has assaulted him too means that this relationship is toxic and must end. There are two sides to every story but I'm not sure you aren't trying to write the husband's side yourself from your own agenda - are you? OP describes how she has supported him emotionally, practically, financially, taken responsibility for his feelings, his finances, everything, for 11 years. She's had enough. And you question whether she ever listened to him?
What's your angle here?
I'm bearing in mind the first paragraph of your OP, Nagoo..
And let me re-affirm that you can leave a relationship for any reason. As Annie says, you don't owe anyone a relationship, no matter what they do.
If it helps, some of your story is very familiar on these boards. When someone says they take responsibility for half the problems; that they blame themselves for breaking up the family, or for being angry, without really taking into account what might have led up to it; and even mention controlling their emotional responses more - that tends to mean they have spent many years reasoning, and trying to manage their feelings, in the face of enormous stress.
In other words you are used to taking too much responsibility for the relationship.
You do deserve some peace now, and to begin consulting your own feelings, without excessive self-blame.
Sounds to me like you are doing really bloody well, Nagoo. It seems from your posts that you have put a great deal of work into yourself and into trying to understand the relationship and extricate yourself from it.
One thing I was told which helped me a lot was, you can only process stuff when you are ready; no one can do it all at once, but you will, in time.
Another thing I was told was, do not swallow what is not yours. You haven't made it hard, Nagoo, it just is hard. But it will get better.
All peace and power to you.
No angle eric
I've been a victim of abuse myself. We haven't been explicitly told whether OP's partner was the instigator, in fact the phrasing of Nagoo's post has neither blamed or admitted anything. I'm only asking questions as I believe she has not fully come to terms with her actions. She needs to for herself and her children and her future.
Is the issue her partner, the relationship or herself. Only when she has come to realise and repair can she have true peace.
Thank you all so much .
I have not come to terms with how much of this I am responsible for. I will give it time and distance and see how I do.
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