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any advice?

(12 Posts)
selina25 Wed 26-Mar-14 23:29:18

I;m so confused. Have been with my Oh for over 30 years, married for 17. We both had high paying high flying careers, I got unexpectedly pregnant at 38 (having been told it was unlikely that we could conceive naturally) and we have a lovely son now 17 at college.
My career changed after giving birth, i had severe post natal depression and only went back to work part-time, and then gave up due to stress about 10 years ago. I did go to college to train as a Teaching assistant and work on a supply basis. Meanwhile my husband was made redundant, set up his own It firm and has been really successful although he works away from home in Europe during the week. Recently I have been unhappy being alone so much especially now our son is almost grown and is out or in with his friends most weeknights. I tried to talk to my husband about my feelings last weekend and his response was that "frankly I am not responsible for your happiness". There may be some truth in that but he has been sexually unfaithful several times and has had many close female friendships during our relationship and I have tried hard to trust him and keep the marriage on track. he resents the fact that he is the main breadwinner and that we are financially dependent on him, although he agreed to my wanting a less stressful and less financially rewarding job at the time. i am now feeling that as my son prepares to leave home I have to evaluate my relationship and really am not sure if I want to be with someone who seems so emotionally cold and detached, and who cares so little for my feelings. I have suggested down sizing as a way to lessen the financial burden but he views this as a failure on our part. He refuses to discuss our relationship except to say that if I hadn't walked away from a well paid job we wouldn't be in the mess we are currently in.I am so unhappy at the moment I could cry, I dread his return at weekends and can see no way forward. I feel that my future happiness cannot be with him but that is so scary it keeps me awake at nights.

EverythingCounts Wed 26-Mar-14 23:34:32

You sound very unhappy and I think you have now realised that you can't keep a lid on that any longer. Can you get an appointment with a counsellor (maybe through your GP) so you can talk it through with someone?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 27-Mar-14 04:31:16

He's actually right. He isn't responsible for your happiness - no-one is. However, he is a big part of why you are unhappy and the solution is entirely in your hands. He's unfaithful, you don't appear to want the same things, your lives sound quite separate and I even wonder if your previous experiences of PND and the stress that made you quit your original job could be traced back to the state of your relationship.

Do you have someone IRL that you can talk to about this? Friends or family? And would you consider talking to a solicitor & other agencies and gathering some practical information on how an independent life might look in practice? The future is always scariest before you shine a light on it.

jacky1234 Thu 27-Mar-14 05:18:31

You sound like you would be much happier away from him. He sounds very selfish, You sound like a really bright person who he is just bringing down, Good luck to you.

selina25 Fri 28-Mar-14 08:55:46

Thanks everyone. Very perceptive, when I left my job ( under a compromise agreement) he was in the middle of a serious affair with a foreign colleague who was going to leave her husband and child to move to the uk to be near him, and had applied for a job transfer to his office.
I am very much on my own, my relatives have all stopped visiting because of his superior attitude - he refuses to socialise with anyone he considers his intellectual inferior - and any friends I have had have been similarly discouraged. My GP is hopeless, old school pull yourself together type who I have seen previously and made to feel foolish for wasting his time.
I think I have realised that I need to plan for making a change once my son leaves home, thanks again for taking the trouble to respond

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 28-Mar-14 09:22:15

How long is it before your DS leaves home? If it's years away then do bring your plans forward. It's a crushing and confidence-sapping experience living with a bully (or emotionally abusive person if you prefer). I'd recommend you see a different doctor but, quite honestly, I think that if you could get this malign influence out of your life, a lot of your MH issues would magically disappear.

iamonthepursuitofhappiness Fri 28-Mar-14 09:27:27

Quite frankly, you have made lots of sacrifices to hold your family together whereas, from what you have said, he appears to have made none - and then he's had the icing with a cherry on the top.

Yes, your husband is right, he isn't responsible for your happiness. No one can take on the responsibility of making another person happy BUT, if you are in a relationship, surely the point is that you enhance one anothers lives?

Just going on face value and what has been said, I would separate and spend some time on my own licking my wounds and evaluating what I want out of the next stage in my life. You are in your 50s and do you want to spend the next 30-40 years feeling the same way? Ultimately, you are at a stage in life when your DS is more independant and you can actually consider your own needs.

I am 40 and separated 4 years ago, I have gone to Uni and have met someone else etc etc etc. I realise you are older than me but there are lots of people at Uni in their 50s changing direction for lots of reasons. OK, you might not want to return to study but my point being is that the world is your oyster, life is for the living, there is no time like the present because otherwise you could 'wake up' in 10 years time full of regret.

* Apologies for obscene amount of cliches in last paragraph.

Good luck!

rightchoice2 Fri 28-Mar-14 09:30:24

Once you have chosen to be in charge of your own happiness you can see clearly what makes you happy and what doesn't. Then the next step is responsibility for what you do about that.

Take a deep breath and spend some time thinking about all your options, then spend some time thinking about how you will fee in five years if you don't do anything. The prospect of making some changes could make all the difference to how you feel, and you might find a glimmer of excitement taking charge of your future and your happiness. Your life is your own you deserve to be happy.

AnyFucker Fri 28-Mar-14 09:34:29

Please, divorce him. You will be happier. Frankly, could anything be worse than this miserable existence. This man does not love you, he sees you simply as the convenient and compliant domestic appliance with no needs of her own

Well, you are not and you have. Go find yourself.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Fri 28-Mar-14 09:35:38

Ok, firstly you need a new GP.

Your H sounds abusive in the sense he has isolated you from your friends and family. If you called, would your family be there for you?

Do you want to leave him? He sounds like the kind of man who will never change, and will always be out chasing other women. I think the only way to become happy again is to not be with him. He is dragging you down and treating you like muck.

I can tell you from a personal point of view, living on your own is quite wonderful smile

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 28-Mar-14 11:32:48

As soon as you revealed H has been sexually unfaithful throughout your marriage that put the tin hat on it.

Nobody should work so hard to trust her spouse and single-handedly keep the marriage on track.He seems to think the only problems are financial.

If I were you I'd embark on a Things To Do For selina25 programme of events. Re-kindle old friendships, develop new interests, change your GP and make arrangements for weekends away. And above all investigate options for a life without H.

Your DS will soon be of an age when his peers hold more fascination than his family. Once he moves out to work or study further you will probably find H announces he wants a divorce. H hardly sounds like the sort of partner who'll consult you.

I am glad you agree you need to plan for your future.

Joysmum Fri 28-Mar-14 11:46:24

I agree with the others, he isn't responsible for your happiness but you are both responsible for the health of your relationship.

I'm going through a similar, but lesser, thing in reverse atm. My DD has gone to senior school and no longer benefit enough from me being a SAHM for me to forego the fulfilment of a career.

I'm lucky, my marriage is good but I've realised that I need to change the things I can (I'm currently studying so I can get a career, rather than a job). My DH has taken it hard that I'm unhappy as he sees it as his job to make me happy and sees any unhappiness as failure on his part, rather than just down to things I have to be responsible for and that he can't fix. He's very down that I'm not 100% happy like I used to be but being 100% in supporting me in making the changes I need to in order to fix what I need to fix.

So in your case, I think you've got 2 things here. You need to work out what you want to do in the work place and then set your mind to achieving it. I never thought I'd be in full time education aged 41 but I've got a good 27+ years ahead of me and more than enough time to achieve in the workplace if that's what I want. You can too! It's not about the age you are now it's about the time you have left. You either accept your years until retirement aren't going to be fulfilling or you do whatever you can to make sure they are.

Then there's your relationship. What's needs to change for you to be happy, and is your DH willing to work towards change? Is it salvageable?

Personally I think if it isn't and I was in your position, if it were possible to continue to live in status quo without things getting worse I'd stay and get trained/educated in whatever path you want to go in and then LTB when you're in a position to push forwards on your career. If it's all too much to stay and you couldn't focus enough on you then I'd crack on with the training now anyway and leave when your son does. Many relationships end when a child leaves home, my own parents split up soon after I left home.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do but remember you were a high flier, and although you can't immediately go back to that (and I know how hard that is) you have the same personal skills you used to plus a whole lot more now so just need to build up the technical stuff. You can do that for yourself and will feel so much more self fulfilled when you do wink

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