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So if you've decided to stay in a marriage for the sake of the children, how do you stop the dead feeling inside?

(58 Posts)
Peebles10 Sun 02-Feb-14 17:19:09

Genuine question, I no longer love my dh, I am sad and unhappy being with him. My heart sinks if I have to be with him without other people. But for many reasons I know I will be staying at least until the children finish school, another 8 years. For those of you who have chosen to stay or feel you cannot leave, how do you fill that space inside you?

arabellarubberplant Sun 02-Feb-14 17:21:11

You don't. You get on with it, or you change your mind and leave.

This is why 'for the sake of the children' is a dumb idea. Sacrificing yourself never goes well, and the kids end up affected anyway.

Peebles10 Sun 02-Feb-14 17:24:58

I know and if I were responding I would say the same however to all intents and purposes there is nothing 'wrong' with my marriage. Dh is a good man and great dad, it just feels do selfish to cause such a holy show because of my unhappiness. Not being a martyr just can't get past it. Thanks for reply.

arabellarubberplant Sun 02-Feb-14 17:28:13

Then it may just be a blip - ie just generally pissed off with the mundane nature of your routine.

Try and make some small changes and your feelings may change too.

What do you do together?

If you have small kids, it's reasonably common to go through meh patches.

arabellarubberplant Sun 02-Feb-14 17:28:45

New job?
New hobby?

arabellarubberplant Sun 02-Feb-14 17:29:05

Fun stuff you can do together with a babysitter looking after the littlies?

Peebles10 Sun 02-Feb-14 17:31:58

Our children are older now and tbh I've been unhappy for years. We don't do anything just the two of us although we have a good social life but always with friends. I just feel do lonely in my own house, like a stranger but when he's not here it's great. Thank you for your suggestions, just all getting to me a bit recently but you're right, need to out up with it if that's the decision I've made.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Feb-14 18:43:33


You cannot fill that void. End of.

Staying for the sake of the children is never a good idea and it will impact on them hugely as teens or adults if you were to choose to stay until then. They see and hear far more than you care to realise.

They will not thank you for staying with their dad and they will all too clearly see how unhappy and messed up you are as a result. Its a terrible template to show your children as to how marriages are conducted, is this really what you want to teach them about relationships?. Some legacy that is huh?. Such lessons too will perhaps be carried over into their own relationships, why run the risk of that happening?.

You do not have to give a reason for leaving him; the fact you are unhappy is reason enough.

You are killing your own self slowly here because you stay for your own selfish reasons.

Using the children as justification to stay is not and never good enough because it is not their relationship but yours as adults, how dare you both inflict this on them. You can't burden a child with a choice you've made. They aren't going to thank you for resentment and bitterness or take kindly to being told, 'If only you knew what I've sacrificed for you.'" They will reply that you were a daft cow for staying and also could well ask of you why you put him before them.

Twitterqueen Sun 02-Feb-14 18:53:13

OP I have been where you are and believed I was doing the right thing for everyone - the children and ex-H. Why upset everything just because I didn't love him any more.

However, it was the wrong decision. Children do always pick up on feelings and the atmosphere is not a good one for a day or a week let alone years and years.

They knew things were bad and I didn't like the way he behaved with them or around them because of how he felt about me.

Your husband must surely know how you feel too. He cannot be so ignorant as to be unaware. Perhaps he would like to break free to and forge a new life?

I had the most horrendous divorce; ex-H lied, stole and has always refused to pay anything towards the DDs. He is now long-term unemployed so I will never get any support from him.

But it was absolutely the right thing to do and I don't regret a minute of it.


RandomMess Sun 02-Feb-14 18:57:36

How long have you been feeling like this?

I've been in the same boat for a couple of years and have come to realise that my dh has no need to change/compromise he will carry on as we are indefinitely. I do not want my dc to make the same mistake as me and end up in an emotionally dead marriage.

Hence I plan to leave, dh will have the opportunity to decide to face things and see if we can work them out. Either way not leaving is a disaster waiting to happen longer term.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 02-Feb-14 19:00:55

You revise your decision to stay in a marriage that is killing you inside, and modeling a very unhealthy relationship for your children to replicate in their own adult lives.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 02-Feb-14 19:11:50

OP I had a friend at school who's parents were staying together for the sake of her and her sibling. She hated her mum because of it and ended up really resenting her parents. Don't let your kids end up feeling like that, it's not fair. It's also a hell of a lot of pressure to put upon them.

arabellarubberplant Sun 02-Feb-14 20:04:41

If your kids are older, then it isn't just little kid blues.

What do you want to do with your life? Just hang around in the status quo and wait to die? Or do something that means something to you and makes you happy? Are you actually living at the moment? Or just waiting for nothing and wasting the one life you get?

What is it that you need to make you happy? If you can get it with dh, then carry on. If it isn't possible, then you owe it to yourself to do something about it.

You equally need to think about the impact on your children if you stay. What are you teaching them about relationships? Surely you want them to learn that a relationship is a happy thing? Not something to be endured?

Sadoldbag Sun 02-Feb-14 20:37:51


Dromedary Sun 02-Feb-14 20:43:05

Take your emotional life elsewhere -spending time with the children away from DH, having close friendships, having an affair? I think this situation is very hard on the DH. Perhaps he will leave you.

Mishmashfamily Sun 02-Feb-14 20:46:06

My dp parents stayed with each other for the 'sake of the kids' they are just finishing a hideous divorce.

Mil feels old and she has wasted all the best years of her life and feels so bitter. Fil on the other hand continued fucking every thing that would let him.

Dp and BIL are not thankful they did this. It wasn't a happy home. Children know if there mothers are unhappy. In the end they just thought she was miserable! And their father who was a cunt of the first order was a top laugh because he had a cook, maid , nanny all rolled in to one and could go get his rocks of on some other poor sod!

you only live once

wyrdyBird Sun 02-Feb-14 20:47:24

Is DH worried that you're unhappy, that you feel lonely in your own house? If he's a good man, he ought to be concerned, and perhaps wondering about your future together.

PoshPaula Sun 02-Feb-14 20:49:52

'To thine own self be true' it really is the only way to live your one precious life.

Cabrinha Sun 02-Feb-14 22:13:03

I do agree with those saying, don't.

For the 3 years that I stayed (for several reasons, but fundamentally, if there'd been no child there'd have been no marriage) I just got on with my life as if he wasn't there. Well, we did stuff together, holidays and stuff... but other than that I rarely spent time with him, and emotionally utterly checked out of the relationship. In case I sound like a contender for Worst Wife, I checked out because he kept cheating, and we lived separate lives to an extent because I hated him.

I am, of course, happier now.

In the year before I left, I wanted to book him a meal at a very fancy waiting list restaurant 4 hours from home. I say wanted to - it was the only present idea I had. As I booked the lunch sitting, because dinner meant a hotel and I couldn't bear to be alone with him overnight, without the buffer of my daughter, I thought "you need out, you can't live like this".

Ditto inviting a relative of his that I didn't even like on Cmas Day, and panicking when it looked like they couldn't come - again, because I needed the buffer.

It's an awful way to love darling. Do at least keep planning for your exit.

cestlavielife Sun 02-Feb-14 23:01:20

So you planning to stay for eight years more then separate?

Why wait ?

It s a long time to be sad and unhappy and surely the dc will suffer seeing you and being around a miserable parent....

What does your dh think ? Does he feel sad and unhappy too ?

If you both sit and agree to live as friends together then hmmmmm. Perhaps ?

But if he apparently happy while you are sad then something is very wrong with this set up.... Have you talked it thru with a counsellor?

mouseymummy Sun 02-Feb-14 23:10:31

Please leave. I know its easier said than done and you panic about how the kids will react to the inevitable upset but it's just not worth the heartache when you realise your kids have no respect for you and seriously, they will never forgive you.

I have major issues with my dad and don't speak to my mum at all (she's a toxic, twisted woman and that's a whole other thread). Mainly my issues lay with my dad.

My dad stayed with my serial cheat of a mother for us. He couldn't bear being apart from my brothers and didn't want to put us through the break up. My mum abandoned us, left us at school and walked away and them wormed her way back in with a sob story when hestopped the bank cards as he wwasn't having her spending his wages on the om and leaving him struggling to pay the bills.

She eventually walked out for good in 2000 when I was 14, my dbro1 was 10 and dbro2 was 5. She took the boys with her and left me. I found out she had gone when my gran rang me to see how I was coping.

My dad was a wreck. I became the parent for 6 months until he got his act together.

I really feel for you. You can do it. I promise you, your kids will thank you for it later. They will never thank you for staying.

FourFlapjacksPlease Sun 02-Feb-14 23:24:38

my parents did this. I don't feel grateful to them, I knew they weren't happy even though there wasn't arguing etc. I actually really resented them when they did finally split up (I was 21) as I felt they were making me responsible for the fact they had been miserable for all those years (not because they said so, because I knew that had stayed together to give us a settled home life)

I felt it had been laid at my door and I had no choice in the matter. Both have since re-married and I struggle to recognise them as the same people that brought me up. Both feel loved and happy with their spouses, which in turn has made them happier people to be around.

Your children will know. And your happiness IS important. Please don't stay in relationship without love.

perfectstorm Sun 02-Feb-14 23:35:18

I appreciate all you say, and I agree with the rest that if it's dead, leaving may be the wisest decision, but you speak about him so respectfully, and once upon a time you presumably loved him deeply. Is there no way at all you could try to see if communication and negotiation, and trying to find common ground, might help? Have you tried counselling? Apologies if you have and this is very old ground - not trying to reinvent the wheel. sad

It sounds heartbreaking. I'm so very sorry you're in this situation.

LadyGardenersQuestionTime Sun 02-Feb-14 23:44:24

You meet someone who makes you feel alive, and despite all your good intentions you have an affair. Then dh finds out - maybe in a burst of contrition you tell him, or someone spots you - and the fallout is appalling.

Fairenuff Sun 02-Feb-14 23:55:03

The one legacy we all leave our children, whether we like it or not, is to model relationships for them.

If you stay in an unhappy relationship, that is what they will see. No joy, no laughter, no love, no admiration, no passion, no bond with your partner. That is what they will expect in their own relationships.

What legacy do you want to give them? There are alternatives to staying 'for the sake of the children'.

Let's be honest, it's not really for them is it? It's because you are afraid to go it alone. It's because it will be a big upheaval for you. It's because you will feel scared and guilty.

Stay if you want to but don't say it's for them. You won't be doing them any favours. In fact, you will be doing them a disservice.

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