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Is my marriage over?(8 Posts)
I have been with DH for seven years, married just over five and have two kids, 2 and 4. First baby was accidental but we were planning to marry and buy a home together, second was planned but happened quickly - I gave up work so it made sense to get it over and done with. I ended up with back problems after the second pregnancy and really suffer with the pain and immobility while taking care of the kids and now doing a 40 minute school run with pushchair. I'm also horribly depressed and have low self esteem and social anxiety.
When I met DH he wanted to be my knight in shinning armour and whisk me away. He was certain of our compatibility, it was destined to be and I was perfect for him - despite me pushing him away as I'd come out of a relationship just as I met him and I wanted to be alone. He wouldn't leave me alone and I gave in. We got through some shit, had some good times but the pregnancy was tough, his family reacted very badly, despite being supportive of our relationship prior to our announcement. They were so awful I cannot forgive them, DH is more of a head in the sand type and will pretend it never happened to have a perfect relationship with them, he knows that I still don't like them and this pushes a wedge between us. At the time it made me feel we were so strong and unbreakable - he almost cut contact and uninvited them to our wedding. Things have happened since to remind us, showing the disparity between their treatment of us and his sister. It hurts me but not him, he just doesn't think about it and has no tolerance for me expressing my hurt.
Another feud occurred with friends and he mostly stuck by me but really struggled to adequately stick up for me. So much so that these 'friends' believed I was forcing him to do things against his will - seriously, he will not do things he doesn't want to do but I know he can appear to be much easier going to friends than me and they were probably projecting their bossiness and manipulative behaviour onto me - I'm very much what I am is what you can see and I cannot lie or pretend to like people who I don't, I'm genuine to a fault, getting myself into trouble by being too honest or sticking up for myself. Although in recent months, years perhaps, I've become very withdrawn and really struggle with people at all, bruised by these situations, feeling very let down.
Over this time the man I met seven years ago is unrecognisable in his behaviour towards me. He rarely sticks up for me, wanting to be diplomatic and keep everyone happy rather than challenging things. He also critical of me and it's like he's started to believe that I am this horrible person I had been accused of being by people who didn't know me or had their own paranoias. Ask him a simple question or ask him to do a small task and I have him shouting at me for having a go when I am not. If I shout because he's far away or he's not responded, so I think he's not heard me, I am accused of being aggressive and angry, when I was not such thing. Being in pain and struggling I have to ask more and more for help and have to carefully word these requests so as not to incur his wrath - I have to stipulate the timing for a request because if I don't he assumes I want it done now and I am being unreasonable for making him drop everything to do it - I'm walking on egg shells asking for help. He doesn't have the same concerns with the house being tidy so doesn't see the mess that I see, and I don't have high standards! It appears that he doesn't like me and does believe I am a horrible person, why can't he just respond nicely to a request rather than defensive and attackingly. It's like living with my enemy and it's been up and down like this for years. We both have found parenthood stressful and exhausting, it may have been a mistake for me to have kids and for him, he'd be happy as long as I was doing all the grunt work and he just got to be fun dad. He says things in front of the kids, to the extend that my eldest has started repeating things, 'mummy is horrible' 'mummy is angry' 'I don't want mummy here she has ruined our day'.
There's no abuse or aggression but just a gradual erosion of my already low self esteem, sense of identity and confidence. Not helped by being a full time SAHM who can't get out because of my mobility issues so have lost friends.
I know my DH would carry on just as we are forever more, but I can't and I need this to stop and to have a loving and cooperative partnership, I'm so disappointed my DH no longer adores me or even acts as if he likes me. I always thought we get through this down patches but I am no longer sure we can. I've mentioned changing and (when he refuses to accept there is a problem or even talk) separating many times but he won't make plans to leave and my only true option is to leave, either alone or to take my youngest and leave my eldest here with her dad and school. We can't afford to run another household in London so I'd have to move up north. But I don't know if I can leave them, even if I thought it was for the best, I'm terribly depressed anyway so they may be better off without me.
You sound so low. Have you spoken to your gp and/or hv about how your feeling?
Have you considered counselling?
I'm sorry but only you will know if your marriage is truly over. I'm not going to tell you to ltb although it's pretty disgusting the way you describe the way he talks about you in front of the children.
First and foremost your self confidence appears to be on the floor and that really needs working on. When your feeling more confident you will be in a better place to assess whether it is working for you to continue the marriage.
The thing I got most from your post was how depressed you are so please see someone about that and get help.
I'm sure wiser women than me will be along to give better advice but I didn't want to read and run
There's no abuse or aggression
Are you sure about that? You're walking on eggshells in your own house because you are scared of his reactions.
When you talk about your eldest, do mean your 4yo, or do you have DC from a previous relationship?
Good point gobby, can't believe I missed that
I have had therapy and have just restarted counselling, I had a break due to childcare. I tried medication too but it made me worse. I probably need therapy for a few years but the NHS are limited and without trying to get sectioned I won't be able to access more - a friend actually advised this as it's how she has managed to get support, well that's not why she did it. I have a lot of stuff to work through but strangely I feel like I box it up as separate from my relationship, I have managed to change my responses and adjust my behaviour when before I'd be more angry and agressive, I just stay quiet and cry instead. It's a waste of time confronting things mostly as he rarely takes the blames or accepts there is a problem, it can be like talking to a brick wall, he'll just switch off. Although he does sometimes change his behaviour despite not accepting it was ever an issue.
The main link to depression is his unpicking of old wounds, acting like he doesn't like me and insinuating I'm a bad person. Although I know I'm not the best company and am really struggling to do anything or enjoy doing anything. The walking on egg shells is specific to asking him to do anything, I have to plan how to say it and even asking a very innocent question can turn into an accusation in his head - last week I asked if he'd finished with the scissors because I was tidying up and didn't want to take them if he was using them. He had a go because he thought I was criticising him, he can't take criticism at all, even if it's imaginary. Granted he did apologise which is exceptionally rare, but I had brought up previous occasions of this exact behaviour before and gave him a telling off immediately which is more effective than bottling it as I've been trying to do.
I may, and have thought I should before, write down things he says. I'll get a better view of whether this is more than just bickering and he does forget what he says. Aside from this and feeling lower down on his priority than I should be, we are ok. But it's feeling emotionally neglected along with the mean comments which leaves me feeling like I'm on my own, and perhaps I don't have to be, perhaps I just married the wrong man and it should feel like a team, me and him against the world, but it doesn't.
Thanks, it's hard to get any perspective and I don't want to talk about this to anyone really.
He is not kind at all, is he? He actively undermines you, both to your face and to the children. That is incredibly destructive: for your own self-esteem, and for your children: how confusing for them to hear one parent belittle the other parent when they want to look up to both of you.
Everything you say is typical of an emotionally abusive relationship: his behavior, your feelings of low self-worth...
Your children DO need you and love you, by the way.
I know how hard it is to make changes and take action when you are feeling depressed - like being asked to run a marathon with a broken leg. You do have it in you, though. Your instincts are all right (not the self-defeating thoughts: the voice that is telling you that this is wrong and that you deserve better).
You do need to get help for your feelings of low self-wroth, and to get respite from a relationship which is only dragging you down further.
Can you access counseling, for yourself?
Is there somewhere you could go with the children?
Just read your latest post op and agree with goats, he is an emotional abuser. Your mental health will only go downhill if you stay with him. Keep writing everything down (just to prove to yourself how bad things are), it's very easy for this type of man to manipulate situations so that you feel like it's your fault. It isn't.
Can you safely leave with the children? Could you get him to leave? Having some space to gather your thoughts without him twisting things will help you put things in perspective.
OP is it possible that it is yr depression causing you to interpret things differently?
You mention falling out with yr DH parents & with friends & wondering why DH is not defending you to the hilt but instead trying to keep the peace - could it be that you have been in the wrong in some of this & he is trying to do the best he can?
Have you become overly concerned with tidying the house, to the point of clearing up what people have not finished with, because this is something you feel you can control when everything else seems out of control?
I wonder if the first thing you need to do is see the GP & investigate other ways of dealing with your depression: you say meds didn't work but there may be different ones perhaps combined with talking cures.
Hope you find a way through this
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