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Anyone ever ended a relationship with their child's father just because they don't love him?

(39 Posts)
GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 10:10:46

I did the other day. Why do I feel so guilty?

Dp is lovely, kind, a great dad, is not abusive and we are pleasant to one another. But our sex life is dead and we have no spark. I'm not sure we ever did.

I got pregnant due to a contraceptive failure about 3 months after we got together. I think I was so grateful he wanted to stick by me after I decided to keep the baby that I tried really hard to make it work. We have now been together nearly 5 years and dd is nearly 4.

I have felt this way for a while and tried to suppress my feelings. I even ended up with depression and in counselling it all came out that my guilt at not feeling the way I should for him was a big factor.

I have got to the stage now where all my friends are getting married and settling down with people they genuinely love and I feel sad we don't have that. I don't want to wake up in 10 years time and realise that life has passed me by. There has never been talk of marriage, even when I said I was sad that dd has a different surname to me. When we had the talk the other night, he admitted that he never asked me as deep down he knew I didn't want to which was kind of true. Since the talk he has shut down and not talking to me at all - apart from a barbed comment last night that I seem "the happiest I have ever been" because I came along with his mym's and made small talk etc and was singing songs with dd in the car. What else was I supposed to do? I had asked him several times if he was ok and tried to engage him in talking things through.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 26-Sep-14 10:13:58

It doesn't really matter what others have done. You've done what is right for you. Of course you feel bad. You have history together, a child together and as you say, he's not a horrible person, just the wrong person. It's better to part ways now and each have chance to make a new life rather than keep everyone trapped in something that isn't working and getting more miserable.

What are the arrangements going forward? Separation, shared parenting, finances etc? Can be a good way to stay focused...

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 10:17:15

Sorry have to write 2nd post as other sent too early...

The truth is I am not happy at all. I feel guilty, sad and petrified and a complete bitch. I worry I am ruining dd's life. I worry about what will become of him. I have just started a new job and am now better off than him money wise. He made a comment that he will probably end up back at his mum's (he lived there when I met him) or in a caravan somewhere only seeing dd at weekends. For a start I have every intention of him having dd as much as I do as we both take an equal role in her patenting. I see his living arrangements as his choice, and not something that I am responsible for. He has a poorly paid job that he hates, but despite lots of encouragement from me at the beginning of the relationship he has never made any effort to change it, so I gave up as it is not my place. If he had wanted to change jobs/study I would have supported him 100%.

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 10:28:38

It's quite telling that I have thought a lot about the logistics of it before I even brought it up with him...

Childcare I hope will go pretty much how it is now albeit with us living apart. He has her certain days and does pick-ups from nursery, I do drop-offs.

Finances - I can afford to stay on in our current home just about, but want to move anyway eventually. He probably would struggle on just his wage. He came into our relationship with a small amount of savings (as he was living with his parents) I came in with an overdraft and credit card as I was a student. I still have an overdraft and credit cards, but I feel bad that he has no savings now but we both had to make sacrifices to raise dd. I took a year out of my course and completely moved universities and worked crappy jobs all through my pregnancy. The debt I have now was used to pay for a nice holiday for us to go to his friend's wedding. Now I am in a decent job I feel bad I earn more than him, but I did work bloody hard with a child in tow to get there.

I am doing ok now, but don't have much in the way of excess but still feel I probably owe him financially.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 26-Sep-14 10:29:53

You are not responsible for his life decisions or his accommodation or his job or anything else. You've stuck together for the sake of the baby and all you've achieved is that two people are miserable. Keep going in the same vein and your DD will grow up thinking that miserable is normal. If you go your separate ways and he has to take responsibility for DD on his own for a portion of each week it might be the incentive he needs to shift himself.

Something ending is always sad but, like you say, you'll kick yourself if you do nothing and end up in exactly the same place 10 years from now.... with another couple of DCs, more financial commitments and so on making it even harder to leave.

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 10:37:30

It is just getting him to actually sit down and talking about it that's the problem. He is in complete denial which makes it even harder.

He says he still wants to live with me. He says he wants to try relate - I think this won't work as the can deal with dispute etc (which we don't really have) but can't put feeling there that aren't there. He says he is worried about what will happen to HIM. Not once has he told me he loves me.

Which I suppose is a good thing really, as at least we are singing from the same sheet. I think he just prefers to live in denial and not rock the boat.

I am meeting my mum for lunch today and am going to tell her - I need someone to talk to in RL. But I think she may be quite judgemental. She thinks he is great because he does housework and I am "so lucky", and is firmly in the camp of "you make marriage work at all costs when you have kids" which I think has allowed her to put up with my dad's misogynistic ways for over 30 years....

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 26-Sep-14 10:42:48

Sounds like you need a few stock answers ready for DM when you see her smile I find it's best to present things as a fait accompli - don't complain, don't explain - and make it clear that you are not asking for their approval or permission but insisting that they respect a decision that you have not reached lightly.

BTW... it's no wonder you feel guilty if you have 30 years of someone else's 'making it work at all costs' as a template. Lunch may stiffen your resolve and actually work in your favour.

You'll be fine.

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 10:42:56

I think that's why I posted here tbh. I don't feel ready to tell anyone else yet in RL as it feels I am betraying dp.

But I also know that my mum will make me feel bad, I just know it. So I'd thought I'd post here for some alternative viewpoints! smile

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 10:43:49

Thanks so much for your reassurance cog. It means a lot. I have had this all built up inside for a long time.

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 10:47:26

Yes cog, I love my mum dearly and she is very selfless, but she is SUCH a martyr! Every selfish and inconsiderate thing my dad does she wears like a badge of honour to display how much she puts up with and what a good wife she is.

I will never be like that, I can't live like that. But I can't help comparing myself as a mother/woman to her and feeling like I am a crap one.

GirlWithTheLionHeart Fri 26-Sep-14 10:49:27

I could've written your post. But my ds is only 20 months so I don't feel ready to move on as he's so young.

I hope you can separate amicably for your DDs sake. Keep us updated

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 10:57:15

Girl - I know what you mean. I didn't have the emotional strength to leave when dd was that young, and I needed him frankly as he was a great dad.

That is one thing that petrifies me, will I be able to cope without him? But it has just got to the stage now where I can't justify staying with him just because I don't want to be a single parent.

I have got to the point now where I have just started a new job and am in a better position financially so want to start planning my future. And I just don't see him in it.

I'm sure he will say I've used him, which I didn't mean to do. It just would have been impossible for me to leave before so I stayed and did try.

I could not have contemplated leaving when dd was 20 months. Have you tried counselling? I found it was a good way for me to process my thoughts and feelings without feeling I was betraying dp by talking to someone who knew him. Good luck with it all and congratulations on the birth of your dc. I am sure you are discovering that they make it all worth while! smile

GirlWithTheLionHeart Fri 26-Sep-14 11:09:37

Thank you for the lovely reply. I'm hoping to do the same as you - get myself financially independent, complete my masters so I can support me and ds.
Thing I worry about by leaving it longer is, will it affect ds more as he'll be older. It'll always be a difficult decision and I'm sure we'll always feel guilty.
Is there a tense atmosphere at home?
Like cog said, you don't have to worry about his accommodation, money, just concentrate on being happy and your dd will be too.
I might try counselling x

GirlWithTheLionHeart Fri 26-Sep-14 11:11:35

Also, do you want more dcs? I do and this confuses me further

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 11:17:37

Girl - that is another catalyst. I want more children, but I know it would be wrong to bring another child in to this relationship. We don't even have axe for a start!

So the longer I stay, the less chance I have if meeting someone else and having more kids.

I am not in any massive rush to meet anyone else though. I met dp on the rebound from a horrible break up with an ea ex. That doesn't do my guilt levels any good. I think why can't I be happy with this guy who actually is one of the good ones?

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 11:27:41

Sex not axe!!

GirlWithTheLionHeart Fri 26-Sep-14 12:00:55

Because he's just not the right one for you. I understand. Mine makes my life hard. If I didn't have ds I'd be well shot. Told me I need to start contributing (I pay for food) and start working but said he won't support me while I'm doing the masters. Nice :/

Fluffyflump Fri 26-Sep-14 12:28:34

This is my first ever post but I could of written yours 2 years ago. I separated from my child's father because I realised like you, that I could stay but for who's benefit? We got on great but it was like living with a friend. There was no spark, no excitement. I loved him but wasn't in love with him. The split was hard mainly because all of a sudden I didn't have full control over my child as we agreed on 3 days with him and 4 with me.
My child's father and I are better parents for not being together. We are happy. We made an agreement that once every 6 weeks or so we would have a 'family' day, where we all go out together. We are both committed to our child and attend all school events together and occasionally we go out for lunch so that we can discuss behaviour and school targets etc. Reading this back I think I have made this sound like a chocolate box scenario. It was tough in the beginning, 'swap over days' were heartbreaking and I would just lie on the couch willing the next 3 days to pass as quick as possible. Now I can spend this time cleaning up, batch cooking, washing and spending valuable time with friends. My child's father infuriates me on so many levels, but he is a great dad and we work as a team to ensure our child is happy. I do miss the family unit and I would love another, but there is something quite special about it just being the two of us. I hope this has helped, I bought a great book called 'two homes' which I found a simple read and prompted some talking about how life is different to other children

GirlWithTheLionHeart Fri 26-Sep-14 16:20:04

Thanks Fluffy, glad it worked out for you. The thought of 'sharing' my ds makes me want to cry, especially at Christmas as that's his birthday too

MeMyselfAnd1 Fri 26-Sep-14 16:38:43

I felt absolutely miserable at realising I didn't love Exh anymore, we were good friends, had a good life but it was years since I (and possibly him too) was living one day at a time, I felt dead inside. So we split, and after the shock worn off and we got used to our new routines, it was as if the sun had come out, for both of us.

I wouldn't say that my life is easier nowadays, or that going through the separation of assets wasn't hell. But now, there is hope.

We have moved on, and life feels lovely and full. I have financial worries nowadays that I didn't when I was married, but I'm happy and so is DS and that's all that counts.

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 19:14:58

Girl it is horrid that your dp is not particularly good to you as well - dp has been incredibly supportive throughout my degree which makes me feel even more of a cow bag!

Whatever you do, find any way you can not to give up anything you want to do for your career. You'll need it more than ever if/when you do split up.

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 19:28:54

Fluffy thanks so much for your post.

This is exactly how I would like things to end up with us.

We have already talked about still doing stuff as a family.

I saw my mum at lunch and it wasn't too bad. She was saddened and a little shocked, and did try the "can't you at least try to make it work" line. But once I explained she understood. She admitted that even with all my dad's shortcomings, there is still that physical spark there (Ewwww!), and she could see why we were flogging a dead horse. She did admit that she had always seen us as an odd match in some respects. She didn't make me feel guilty at all.

I was going to go put with workmates tonight but i cancelled. These nights have a habit of getting "messy" and in my fragile state I didn't want to end up drunk and crying! None of them are close friends, just acquaintances, so I wouldn't feel able to confide in them at all.

Dp on the other hand is going out with a friend, which I don't begrudge at all. I am letting dd stay up Kate and we are about to watch frozen together as a treat.

Dp seems ok about things really. We discussed some practical things and seem to be on the same page. He is talking about getting himself a one bed place and dd can have a camp bed or sleep in with him (she still ends up in our bed most nights). This will be fine for now as he will only be having her 2 nights (plus pick ups from preschool and 2 full days on his days off) that are not preschool nights. I did point out this May need to change next year when she starts proper school as one of the nights is a Thursday, so she will need a proper bed/room then really.

He will be having her enough that I won't seek maintenance from him.

I am getting to terms with things slowly, and so is he I think, and I'm actually now feeling quietly optimistic and like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I thank you all for your kind words, they mean a lot. smile

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 19:29:52

So I relate to how you feel, Me.

Glad it all worked out for you too. smile

Frogisatwat Fri 26-Sep-14 19:47:32

You have been incredibly brave and kind to him. So many people drift on in these situations. Then along comes mr or ms 'spark' and an affair ensues. Not everyone does that of course but by being brave you have freed both of you to perhaps meet someone who thinks the sun shines out of your backside and vice versa. Shakespeare

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 26-Sep-14 20:02:53

Wow frog that is a lovely thing to say, thank you. I don't feel kind and brave, I feel more naive and foolish for letting things get this way.

I was determined I didn't want it to end up so either of us has an affair though, I had thought about that possibility.

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