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My marriage is falling apart and I don't know how to fix it. :(

(29 Posts)
Chippitychip Thu 13-Nov-14 20:03:02

This will be long, so sorry in advance. Have NC so as not to out myself.

Been married for 7 years, 2 young DC. My H will often tell me that I'm moody, or miserable or his favourite that I'm a pessimistic/negative person. I naturally don't think I am but I do think our marriage and everything that has happened since we got together has got to me.

Since we have been together he has been declared bankrupt, lost a couple of lucrative jobs,we almost lost our home last year but due to help from family managed to keep it although we kept the house we pretty much live week to week and will do for a good few years yet.

I've had a couple of serious health issues leading to surgery and hospitalisation. Through it all, I've tried my hardest to keep it together, keep on keeping on. Not let it affect the kids etc.

All of the above has affected our relationship, we are no longer intimate, haven't been in almost a year, we don't talk about anything other than the kids and when we do he is very dismissive of me and my opinions.

If I am critical about something or get annoyed (eg he bought the kids back late on a Sunday evening after visiting friends- so they had to rush, dinner/bath/bed and didn't get to bed until 2 hrs past their bedtime-v tired next day for school/nursery ) he will accuse me of "ruining" his day and being a moaner and whinger. He has little nicknames that he uses in front of the kids that I suppose are harmless but they hurt my feelings and if say anything about them he again accuses of not having a soh or being miserable.

If I ever make the mistake to talk about how I feel he will just stare at me blankly like I'm talking a foreign language or just brush it aside and tell me not to be silly.

I think I can be moody, I think my health condition has taken it's toll on me too. Also due to all the financial issues I no longer look to him as someone who I can rely on to take care of me or the kids ( I don't mean take care like I'm dependant on him but if the need arose) but I don't recognise the person he describes me as. No one in my friends circle would ever describe me the way he does - including and especially people who have known me for years.

Friends tell me I'm funny, smart, attractive but my husband never notices any of this. I try to do little things that show that I care, like buy his favourite food as a treat (money too tight for proper present) I cook, clean and do the majority of the childcare I also work PT.

When we argue I sometimes burst into tears because of something hurtful he has said and he just stares emotionless at me or sometimes looks exasperated with me.

No one outside of our marriage sees this side of him, to almost everyone else he is Mr Happy Go Lucky, positive, upbeat, give you the shirt off his back kinda guy- but at home he is often non- communicative unless he is criticising me over something or we are arguing.

I've suggested counselling but he refuses to go. In fact he refuses to acknowledge any responsibility for the difficulties in our marriage. He says if I was a happier, nicer person then we wouldn't have problems.

Recently we were discussing something and he shut me down, basically telling me that he was no longer going to talk to me about it and I needed to stop talking. He said this in front of our children. He refused to talk to me for the rest of the day. Pointedly ignoring me.

When we did talk I made it clear that I wouldn't tolerate him talking to me like that again. I told him I would rather be on my own than live with someone who thinks so little of me. He didn't deny any of this. But towards the end of the conversation said he wanted to try and make things work between us.

But this morning I made a comment about how travelling using a certain mode of travel makes me anxious and he started reading me article about 22 habits of unhappy people- and when I asked him why he was reading it to me, he just gave me a look. wtf! I feel like I'm going crazy, I feel insane sometimes because I can't work out if I'm really this awful person who brings out the worst in him or just someone whose had enough of the shit that's happened over the last 7 years.

Vivacia Thu 13-Nov-14 20:06:47

So, er, why do you want to fix it?

Vivacia Thu 13-Nov-14 20:08:19

He bullies, manipulates and gas lights you. You do know that this isn't how loving, respectful partners treat each other, don't you?

Fairenuff Thu 13-Nov-14 20:10:41

Doesn't sound like you're insane to me but it does sound like he wants you to think that.

justmuddlingalong Thu 13-Nov-14 20:18:48

* I told him I would rather be on my own than live with someone who thinks so little of me. He didn't deny any of this. But towards the end of the conversation said he wanted to try and make things work between us.* Why is everything up to him? He's not the boss of you. He's mentally beating you down, and the longer it goes on, the more confused, and downtrodden you'll become. If you would rather be apart, do it, you don't need his permission.

Chippitychip Thu 13-Nov-14 20:27:15

I really want it to work, and I know me just wanting it to work isn't going to make it so. I don't want to break up my marriage and take my kids away from their dad. I don't like him very much at the moment but I do love him. How he is towards me is no reflection on how he is with the children- he is a good dad, very hands on, they adore him. It's just me he seems to have problems with.

I know I can be moody, I also know and admit that our financial situation and the constant robbing peter to pay paul wears me down but all of this is making me wonder if he ever loved me - or whether I fell in love with someone who doesn't exist?

Chippitychip Thu 13-Nov-14 20:29:54

Oh and thank you for the replies - I know written down it sounds like why the hell would I want to bother saving something that isn't that great.

Vivacia Thu 13-Nov-14 20:31:09

You're right, you can't do this alone and he certainly isn't willing. Why do you want to keep your children exposed to his role modelling of relationships? So that they grow up and expect bullying? He's not a good dad in this respect, is he?

Vivacia Thu 13-Nov-14 20:31:47

isn't that great.

It's gone so far beyond that OP and it saddens me you're so willing to accept it.

justmuddlingalong Thu 13-Nov-14 20:32:21

Don't be doing all the work to save the marriage. It's meant to be a partnership, with love, RESPECT and support. And a good Dad does not belittle Mum or use hurtful names in front of the kids.

misscph1973 Thu 13-Nov-14 20:54:52

Let me start by saying that I truly understand that you can't be happy and cheerful with all that is going on. I am sure you do your best and a lot better than your DH thinks.

It sounds like the 2 of you are stuck, like your DH has decided "that's how you are", and nothing you say or do will change that. He has become used to seeing you like that and it's stuck. And your are his scapegoat in a way.

Now you will get a lot of LTB. But you don't want to do that and I can understand that. You don't want to give up. You still think it can be worked out. And maybe it can.

But as it is all down to you, I think you have very little to lose as you don't seem to be getting anywhere by trying, so you need to give him an ultimatum. As he doesn't take your seriously when you try.

I understand that money is tight, so running 2 households is not an option. Can either of you stay with family? I think you really need to show him you are serious by literally removing yourself from him for a while. You need to not be in the same house for weeks/months. Can you do that? Can you issue a threat (ie. "if you don't go to counselling, I will be out of here in x days, at my mums") that you know you can follow through on if you have to?

Chippitychip Thu 13-Nov-14 21:40:24

I am not able to leave as my family live in another part of the country, I have a job and the dc's schooling.

I could ask him to leave and go and live with his family who are nearby, however that means involving them and they would meddle - they have previous form for this, not always with the best of intentions.

I have thought about saving enough money and renting somewhere for 6 months for me and the kids but then I get angry at the thought of uprooting the dc from their home, having to get them to understand stuff that even I can't make sense of.

I've also thought about disengaging from him completely, not trying , but living the best life I can in the same home, as a married couple in name only, but again this makes me question my sanity because who on their right minds would do that and be able to keep it up for years and years.

I always try not to rise to it, the little digs, the comments about my shortcomings (never explicit always subtle but definitely there)

Vivacia Fri 14-Nov-14 06:37:43

Thankfully we live in a country and time when no woman has to stay in an abusive and/or unhappy marriage for financial reasons. If you ask here, you will get many women telling you they were far happier out of the marriage and with less money.

You tried changing. You've tried ignoring. You've tried talking. I think that you started this thread because you're ready to try something different.

wallypops Fri 14-Nov-14 07:32:03

Start looking at houses/flats. Get put on local housing authority waiting list. Find out what your entitlements are as a single mum. Start getting your ducks in a row. Financially you'll almost definitely be better off without him. Then if you wish to issue an ultimatum you can. I'd say in the long term you are flogging a dead horse, so get on with living. He is going to grind you down if he possibly can and just putting up with it will destroy you.

Notmeagain1 Fri 14-Nov-14 07:50:28

You need a break from him to think. I would not uproot the kids. He has family close so needs to go there. If they try to meddle, hang the phone up, screen calls, dont answer the door or tell them point blank it between the two of you and to stay out.

He does not have to live in the same house to be a good dad to the kids. If he is good to them now, hopefully that would not change. HE needs to sort himself out and decide if HE wants this marriage to work as a partnership with love and equal respect.

If he doesnt you will be able to tell fairly quickly.

Good luck.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 14-Nov-14 08:08:06

What is in this for you?. He is now basically dragging you and your children for that matter down with him.

There is no future at all for your marriage and your best option here going forward is to leave. This is an appalling example of a marriage, infact this is a textbook example of an abusive marriage.

ALL of your words are the words of a woman who is being abused by her H. Such women as well usually write the "good dad" comment when they themselves can think of nothing positive to write about their man, as is the case here.

He has all the power and control here in this relationship, he is mirroring his behaviours on you (by for instance telling you that you're moody and pessimistic; he is really those things) and he is not above gaslighting you either. These are all abusive behaviours on his part.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships here and what do you think they are learning from the two of you?.

I think your love for him is more like an unhealthy co-dependency to be honest and you fell for the image he presented to you.

What you are showing your children currently is that his abusive treatment of you is on some level acceptable to you. It is not your fault or theirs that their dad/your H has chosen to start his own private war with you; such men hate women, all of them.

Saving money will take months, he could well try and thwart your every move and that is simply more time for you all to be exposed to his abuse.

I would now speak to Womens Aid on 0808 2000 247 and seek legal advice with regards to separation as soon as possible.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 14-Nov-14 08:12:12

What you have tried to date as well has not worked and his actions are affecting your children as well as you. You're all walking on eggshells around him.

trice Fri 14-Nov-14 08:18:32

He sounds resentful and mean. But if you really want to save your marriage you could try science on him. Five minutes every day skin to skin contact and look into each others eyes. It releases oxytocin which promotes bonding. Do it for a month and see how you both feel.

Vivacia Fri 14-Nov-14 08:37:35


Vivacia Fri 14-Nov-14 08:40:30

Actually, sod this.

Trice can you point me in the direction of peer-reviewed evidence that touching the skin of your abusive partner, for five minutes every day for a month, is even vaguely beneficial?

Because otherwise it looks as though your throwing a big word in to a sentence of bollocks and offering incredibly dangerous advice to a person in vulnerable circumstances, doesn't it?

Seriouslyffs Fri 14-Nov-14 08:44:22

From what your described he sounds manipulative and emotionally abusive.
However you've been through an awful lot and you might have got into some negative thought patterns. A few sessions with a good counsellor could help you discern this and give you some tools.
What do you both think about the lack of intimacy? I'm surprised he doesn't think there's a problem with the relationship for that alone.

alicemalice Fri 14-Nov-14 08:53:12

I agree it doesnt sound good but not sure telling the op she'll definitely be financially better off is right. Most women lose out financially, have to work and take on most of sorting childcare

alicemalice Fri 14-Nov-14 08:53:53

Not that i think ppl should stay for those reasons but wise to go into it with all the facts.

trice Fri 14-Nov-14 09:09:00

Vivacia - she is married to the bloke and says she wants to stay that way. I didn't think touching him for five mins would be dangerous.

There are plenty of peer reviewed papers on the role of oxytocin in couple bonding if you Google - I just looked. I'm on my phone so I can't link for you.

Vivacia Fri 14-Nov-14 09:21:48

I didn't think touching him for five mins would be dangerous.

Trice he belittles and mocks her. In front of the children. Can you seriously picture her approaching him with this quackery?

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