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Update - 4 years after the reluctant-trouser-wearing thread...

(53 Posts)
TrousersSchmowsers Sat 27-Sep-14 17:17:52

Don't know if anyone at all remembers this saga, the original thread ishere and I can't tell you how much it helps my resolve to have this dated record of how very long I have been miserable in my marriage for (and 2010 was just when the years of smouldering embers finally sparked... I can date it to about 2004 if I'm honest... a whole decade... yikes.)

It has been a long and tortuous process, but we are now living together as separated and the plan is that DH will be moving out after half term, when we will be telling the kids to give them a bit of non-school time to process. Trying to keep things amicable, but the amount of ineptitude and shoulder-shrugging is so wearing. Not much longer, I keep telling myself, not much longer...

Doing all right just now, but expect I will need to return here for a sanity check and a bit of support over the weeks to come.

TrousersSchmowsers Sat 27-Sep-14 17:18:48

gah excuse typos. have been working at home all day and RSI kicking off!

heyday Sat 27-Sep-14 17:28:10

Well, this separation is something that you have wanted for a long time and the end is in sight. Hopefully you have all your finances sorted and you can start to think of all the things you can do with your new-found freedom.
I guess he is a really nice guy, perhaps a little too nice and far too passive. Be unassertive isn't a crime but I do know how bloody infuriating it can be.
Good luck on your journey.

AnyFucker Sat 27-Sep-14 17:36:07

Hello there. I remember you. You got there in the end smile

Do you think the Final Push is going to go off without a hitch ? I hope so.

TrousersSchmowsers Sat 27-Sep-14 17:51:57

Thanks both. It will AF (and I am very pleased to see you here, thank you). I do have to keep my resolve high as every week since we stopped going to counselling (having made the decision) I am being encouraged to call it off but again in a very passive way, there's been no "please let's work this out, I love you," it's been more of a head/chin-scratching and "hmmm well I'm not really sure whether this is going to work out very well and it's all going to be quite complicated to organise, you know." so whilst technically it is at my instigation, I haven't been met with any actual resistance or objection... There is sadness, as I met him nearly 25 years ago so we've a lot of shared history. And being a single mum is going to be a mighty challenge and not to be taken lightly. But I will manage.

AnyFucker Sat 27-Sep-14 17:55:20

Yes, you will. x

Optimist1 Sat 27-Sep-14 18:43:45

Much of what you say resonates with me, Trousers. Like you, my announcement that I wanted to part was met with "I thought we were just going through a bad patch" rather than "I love you, I need you". Like you, I had been the trouser-wearer. Like you, I had invested many years in the relationship, but since our parting have described it as "20 years happily married and 6 years less than happy" - I feel this acknowledges our history together.

I've mentioned it on MN before, I think, but in the week before telling him I wanted to divorce I wrote a little note to myself and hid it in the box that contains the Christmas decorations as they were put away. I came across it the following year, when I was settled in my own lovely home, happy in my new singledom. It said "Things will be better". And they were. I'm sure the same will be true for you when autumn 2015 rolls around.

BhearNOW Sun 28-Sep-14 09:54:13

Trousers - I am ploughing through your old thread to accelerate my thinking on my situation which is the same as yours. This is my recent ((http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2194307-Just-realised-that-I-am-married-to-a-passive-aggressive-anyone-else?post)).

I note that early on in your post you said that you would not separate - what made you change your mind? Or will this be revealed when I get further through the post?

I have also come across this book (you can read most of it online for free) which has been really useful. have you come across any self help groups/online communities/resources that would be helpful?

Where did you find the energy to move forward with a divorce - as I am exhausted by doing the work of 3 parents for 5 kids (4+H)...my role, his role and the 3rd role when he undermines my decisions and I have to do it all again.

books.google.co.uk/books?id=JIyyid3xRyEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Living+with+the+Passive-Aggressive+Man&cd=1&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

BhearNOW Sun 28-Sep-14 09:55:44

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2194307-Just-realised-that-I-am-married-to-a-passive-aggressive-anyone-else?

TrousersSchmowsers Sun 28-Sep-14 14:56:08

Hello BHearNow, sorry you're struggling. At the end of my old thread I had a blow-up with DH when a relatively small thing (a very minor car crash I had in the snow, and his reaction to it) crystallised and galvanised an emerging realisation that, actually, I was not being well served by the marriage in any way, financial, emotional, practical, sexual, and not growing or striving in any way, and that it was co-dependency at best. I've looked hard at my part in that, too. I knew it would be a long road to do it in the best way I could think of for all concerned, and there have been other things along that road that have made me think - actually, there are alternatives and many of them are better options for both of us, and for the kids.

TrousersSchmowsers Sun 28-Sep-14 14:58:18

Thank you Optimist. I had also in the summer of 2012 sent myself an email using a website called "future me" or something like that, which arrived on my birthday this year saying "Dear Trousers, do you have a happy love life yet? You really need to be on that, I was hoping you would have made some changes by now!" grin

BhearNOW Sun 28-Sep-14 15:55:44

Wow the co-dependency part rings bells with me. I see us as two people from difficult childhoods - who used those experiences in different ways. I continue to try to recover, gain insight and grow everyday - he does not. This morning we had a very frank conversation - where I told him that I believed he was pass aggressive and we were both unhealthily co dependent. Classic - he said "help me then to understand and recover then"....and guess what I said? - "OK"....!!! - so this is the stuff I ave researched for him.....not doing very well am I - tho this might help others.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive-aggressive_behavior
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependent_personality_disorder
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency
www.adultchildren.org/lit/Laundry_List.php
coda.org/index.cfm/meeting-documents/patterns-and-characteristics-2011/
coda.org/index.cfm/meeting-documents/patterns-of-recovery/

I wish you well trousers - I want to be in your position -- and I know that to get there I have to find some power of strength from somewhere as he will distract, exhaust and divert me at every turn. I will be keeping an eye on your progress for inspiration - I hope that you have cracked the back of it now and it is all plain sailing from here.

ninetynineonehundred Sun 28-Sep-14 16:24:25

Hi trousers! I just read the first page of your original thread but actually started to have trouble breathing because it's exactly where I am at currently.
I'm so glad you are getting where you wanted to be.
It's like punching a cloud this isn't it sad
Mine told me yesterday that he hates seeing me so unhappy and knows that the only way to make me happy is to move out. He has no intention of doing that or trying to do anything to improve things so wtf?
It's draining.

TrousersSchmowsers Sun 28-Sep-14 18:12:07

gosh it's resonating for people already again... I think this subject is so important...

Another catalyst for me was that in the last few years I've made a friend a bit older than me who is also in an unhappy, but not headline-makingly-awful, marriage and has sought solace by having affairs instead, which besides being of course wrong, another effect has been them feeling even less powerful and even more obliged to keep the marriage going. I can see them retiring that way in a few years, and I do not want that for me...

TrousersSchmowsers Sun 28-Sep-14 18:25:55

...and another catalyst (I'm off now!) is seeing myself getting a little bit older and thinking, bloody hell, I have missed out on years of having a sex life (not entirely, I have had a few moments!) but I have gone the best part of the last two decades, which should have been prime sap-rising time, struggling to connect with my feminine sexuality because I've basically been stuck in this sort of husband/mother role. I worried for a long time about taking care not to emasculate DH. Lately I wonder whether the story of him defeminising me deserves some consideration, too.

TrousersSchmowsers Sun 28-Sep-14 18:30:41

Ninetynineonehundred having trouble breathing - sorry you are feeling that, I can relate though, it's that bubbling-under anxiety when you know something is badly wrong but nothing big is popping up to guide you as to what it is... it's this creeping feeling that you're being undervalued without any red flags as such, more a constant string of tiny bunting just at the edge of your vision.

"Punching a cloud" is well put grin

TrousersSchmowsers Sun 28-Sep-14 18:37:23

Thank you BHearNow.

I gave up on looking at the possible causes/explanations in the end and got busy looking after myself, self-compassion in every shade, and getting familiar with solution-focused therapy which is very much about "what improvements can I make today?" So, having the hard talks, taking the decisions even if you'd rather not, booking Relate, arranging time alone with DH specifically to talk and face things. But keep searching - it all helps - you'll reach a point where the right thing to do becomes clear.

ninetynineonehundred Sun 28-Sep-14 19:14:44

Oh yes! The lack of sex sad
If I ever wanted to shag a petulant child there would be something seriously wrong with me.
But of course that is something else that was something I used to feel bad about.

I'm starting to realise that it doesn't matter what he does /doesn't do or why
It's how I feel deep down that's important

ninetynineonehundred Sun 28-Sep-14 19:17:08

I'd never even thought of him defeminizing me sad
How come if we are the baddies that all our thought processes are about them?
It's such a colossal head fuck.

Optimist1 Sun 28-Sep-14 19:27:48

I just looked at the futureme website, Trousers - absolutely the high-tech version of my little note in with the Christmas decorations!

Your description of the situation as being devoid of red flags but with tiny bunting in peripheral vision describes matters to a tee. There were times when I wished that he had done Something Seriously Bad so that my mind would be incontrovertibly made up. As it was, there were years of mulling things over before I took the step.

It sounds as though you're well on the way to your new, improved future.flowers

ninetynineonehundred Sun 28-Sep-14 19:28:38

bhearnow
I wrote a long reply on your post last week and promptly lost it.
I'm so sorry you are going through this too.
It's hard because it's so insidious and hard to articulate even to yourself let alone other people why each tiny situation makes you feel so upset or angry

BhearNOW Tue 30-Sep-14 15:47:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrousersSchmowsers Sun 05-Oct-14 18:03:42

It's been a tough week. He is looking to me to orchestrate every aspect if the split. Not doing anything to rescue it, not doing anything to progress it. He's just spent weekend with parents to tell them we're separating (he's going to need their support, and I'm going to need them supporting him) but he didn't in the end because it didn't feel right. I asked him whether he'd found anywhere likely to move to and he says he wants to tell his parents first. So another week of dither and avoidance. This whole thing is taking so much courage as my part-time salary is minuscule, I will really struggle with costs and I know he's going to find it hard to pay me any support to start off with. I already have a mountain to climb of my own and it feels like he's hanging onto my feet while I do it. But not because he wants to make our marriage work - he just wants me to make it all go away.

I wasn't sure whether to post about this, but I had a big birthday this summer and I was so depressed that I had made plans to off myself. I just couldn't face the prospect even of accepting a present and a kiss. Luckily a part of me realised that was illness talking, so I got myself referred and was very lucky to get help to see me through that week. I didn't tell him about it at the time as I knew he wouldn't be able to help me. I told him about a month later, once the storm had passed. I'm still in therapy and about to be referred for something more intensive as whilst it's kept me from the edge it hasn't really worked.

So I am facing severe mental ill health as well as all this. And sometimes he says that he wants to hang around "until I get back on my feet." But I've been like this for most of our marriage. I know he's not good for me and I don't know what else to do. Scary times. I'd love a visit from a future "me" right now.

Optimist1 Sun 05-Oct-14 18:42:05

Oh Trousers, you have borne so much up to now. The end of the hard times is in sight, really. Crack on with your plans for extricating yourself from the relationship. Do you have someone in RL who can keep you buoyed up emotionally for a while? Half term is fast approaching - how would he respond to a suggestion that since he's finding it so difficult to break the news to his parents you can do it?

(One day I'll tell you the story of my milestone birthday that fell 10 months before I told mine we were over, and we might have a giggle at our old fears and terrors.)

Nothing profound to suggest, I'm afraid, but I'm sure I'm not alone in cheering you on. flowers

TrousersSchmowsers Sun 05-Oct-14 22:40:56

Thanks Optimist. Yes I do, and am reaching out to them. Thanks for being a voice of the future!

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