Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
very confused about the sorry state of my marriage(14 Posts)
I've posted here under different guises, so apologies if I'm repeating myself but I just want to get everything down to avoid drip feeding.
At the moment, to an outsider, DH and I are happily married with 3 DCs (9, 6, 2). DH is a good father and loves the kids dearly, he thinks we're happy. There isn't any intimacy in our relationship at the moment, but he thinks that's because we've had family staying for a long time.
In truth, we're not that compatible. We had an unexpected pregnancy when we were both in our early 20s and we got married. We worked hard to make a happy family. There were times when DH was quite disengaged though. He would go out a lot and sleep off hangovers, leaving me to deal with DD a lot. Sometimes it wasn't so bad.
We had DS1 a few years later and the intimacy dried up a bit. The compatibility issues carried on too. When DS was 2 we went out one evening together, we had family staying to babysit, and DH got quite drunk. When we got home he wanted sex, I didn't, it happened anyway and was horrible. In the aftermath I felt my world come crashing down and I couldn't tell anyone about it. I'd just stopped work and been through a lot with DS's health issues. I didn't feel able to leave. DH wasn't actually aware that I hadn't consented, I decided to bash on.
Then DH's job moved us all to the other side of the world. Things were ok between us but I felt quite isolated. We decided to try for our last baby and DS2 was born. He was hard work and I had no support nearby. DH's behaviour got really bad at this time. He was out until the early hours at least once a week and Sleeping off hangovers all the time etc. I found out from a friend he'd been taking drugs as well. One night he'd been out and got back just after I'd settled DS from a feed, he was still waking up every 2 hours at that point, DH wanted sex, I didn't, again it happened anyway. Afterwards I went to sleep in the spare room with DS. In the morning DH couldn't understand why I was in there,he had no idea I wasn't enjoying the sex at all. He was too drunk to the read signals I guess.
On the 3rd occasion I was drunk, it was my first night out post baby and I misjudged my alcohol intake. I came home very drunk, not really able to speak properly etc (cringe) and DH started having sex me. I was out of it, but still thinking why is he doing this? He stopped after a few minutes, clearly realising it was wrong.
After that I told him that although he wasn't aware of it, I felt like I'd been raped, and his behaviour had been awful for a while, the only reason I wasn't walking out was because of the children. He was shocked. That was nearly 2 years ago. He stopped drinking as much, he hardly goes out now, he helps out a bit more with the kids and he's back right off from sex, in the past he's been very lechy but that has stopped too.
I know he loves me, but I can't move past what happened. I don't find him attractive at all. If I told him I wanted to separate, I think he'd be very hurt and surprised. The DCs are so settled and happy, I don't want to pull their world apart.
Here's an added complication. About 1 year ago I met someone through work whom I developed very strong feelings for almost instantly, I've never felt that way about anyone before. I recently found out he feels the same way and we've been involved and EA. He moved away before it got physical, but we're still in touch. I tried NC and it failed. I need to try harder. I feel a mixture of horrible guilt and pining for OM.
I'm so confused. I can't tell people I'm leaving DH because in the past he's had a questionable sense of when I'm consenting to sex. It's not a good enough reason to break up a family? My feelings for OM are muddying the water I think. Everyone will be shocked and I will be the villain.
I'm not sure what I'm even posting for really.
Should just add that I'm financially dependent on DH. We live hand to mouth on his salary, I've been a SAHM for years although I'm about to start a degree that leads to a professional registration.
Just leave. You don't have to justify why, just do it. It's clearly not working on many levels. OM might just be a distraction, a way out for you, you will find out eventually. It might make it easier on DH if you tell him about OM as it will give him something to focus on. He will be furious but at least there is some integrity involved on your part and he won't feel like it's his fault. The unconsented sex thing is a huge betrayal but it's too murky to call him on, too late in the day and it comes across on here that you are using that as an excuse to reject him in favour of OM - he will definitely see it that way.
I think you're right cottage, I am using it as an excuse to justify what's happening with OM. I absolutely know it will not work out with him though, much as I would love it too, we're at very different stages in our lives. Just the fact that I'm capable of feeling that way about someone other than DH has brought it home to me that our marriage is irretrievably broken.
This will be short and perhaps blunt, because of the time here: but rape is rape, OP.
It wasn't a one off, either.
You don't have to tell people why you're leaving.
Thanks track. It certainly felt that way to me. I'm not sure DH agrees.
I feel like I've been spinning plates for years, and they're all going to come down at once, if that makes any sense at all? I really don't want to hurt the kids, but embarking on an EA with another man is about the most hurtful thing I could do to them.
Although on the first and third occassions, I cried while it was happening. I don't think he noticed though.
I should also add that when I say I met OM through work, it's voluntary work that I needed to do to get onto the degree course. It's going to be a while until I'm in the position to support myself and the DCs.
Writing this all out is making things feel a bit clearer.
Just reading things back and trying to be clear, and not drip feed, DH didn't physically force me to have sex, he just pleaded and pleaded. After saying no many times I did give in, but then felt quite roughly treated during the act. The first time he was really quite rough and I pushed him when it got too much, but at no point did I shout or fight back. I might have done if family hadn't been staying. I don't know. The second time was the same, he pleaded, I said no a few times but then gave in and then had sex in which I felt like I was providing a body part. I suppose I did consent at the start. The third time, when I was drunk, I don't even remember if we had a conversation about sex, I just remember that it was happening and I started to cry.
Sorry, all these posts are making me come across unhinged.
You don't sound unhinged but you do sound justifiably upset. Sometimes the magnitude of things don't really hit you until later, and sometimes it seems like it's too later for an event to have an impact but it's not.
I don't know what country you're in (you mention your husband's job being abroad?) but remember that whilst money/family/residency may seem like barriers, nothing should stop you leaving if you want to. You don't have to justify leaving a relationship that you no longer want to be a part of.
Have you spoken to anyone in person about this? A close friend, relative or therapist? They may be able to help you make sense of your feelings.
I think your feelings for OM and your situation with your husband are two very different issues, although one may be the catalyst that caused you to step back and think about the other. I don't think you should have an affair, but neither do I think you should be forced to stay in a loveless marriage with a rapist (whether he understands your feelings about his actions or not).
I hope that someone with more experience can come along and provide advice for you here, or that you can speak to someone in person who is able to help you.
Thanks ICan, a therapist might be the best way to go. Most of my friends here are joint friends with DH and I don't think I can speak to family about it.
I'm in Australia. We're residents, but I need to check whether DH is still the primary visa holder.
Oh, Australia should be fine for anything. I was concerned you might be living in the middle east or something and have trouble legally leaving/getting custody if you choose to separate.
I would encourage you to go to therapy and talk through everything. If your therapist is not helpful, "shop around" until you find someone you can connect with. If you don't know where to start, I suggest your GP.
If it is Australia, you probably have the children home at the moment for summer? This might mean you don't have a lot of breathing space at the moment which means taking some time out for therapy could be very helpful.
I am really, truly wishing you all the best.
Yes it's summer hols here and a very full house. Speaking to someone impartial would be really helpful. I've found a couple of local therapists and will give them a call on Monday. Thanks again.
Oh my dear, it's absolutely rape. And don't tell me he didn't know he was raping you - you were in tears and he had to beg and beg you to agree? Then he was rough and hurt you? Coerced consent (like when someone harasses you until you agree) is not genuine consent and therefore he absolutely raped you and he knows it. He may not accept it but that's neither here nor there.
You are not obliged to try to forgive an abusive, alcoholic rapist even if he has stopped raping you OP. You can, and should leave him. And please don't tell him about the other man, that's awful advice. Tell him the truth, which is that his abusive treatment of you throughout most of your marriage has led to an end to any affection or commitment you feel to him. The end.
Join the discussion
Please login first.