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Having doubts about separation and possible divorce

(16 Posts)
despicableshe Mon 20-Apr-15 08:46:05

Here's a couple of previous threads I had started for some background: here and here

Things are coming to a head. On one hand I know that even on my own I'd feel so much more relaxed around the house. I'm not even thinking about relationship with anyone else. On the other hand I am very concerned about the effect on the DC, they adore their dad. What's sad to me is that we are finally talking about this without yelling and we can still laugh together. I think he (as well as myself) could do with some individual counselling, and he would be ok with seeing Relate.

I suppose it's normal to have wobbles about ending a marriage. If anyone were to ask, I couldn't cite a particular reason. Two people closest to me that know about what's been going on though and think that this marriage isn't good, one of them thinks that DH has been EA. I don't know if he is that, or being generally unpleasant at times.

Sometimes I think I want him to go, now I'm very unsure. I realise none of you can tell me what to do, I suppose I just wanted to vent. Anyone else got a clue what I'm on about? smile

despicableshe Mon 20-Apr-15 08:47:34

Oh and it turns out he wasn't unhappy with the marriage, just re his own personal issues. This makes it even harder as I was the only one who saw a problem in our relationship.

Handywoman Mon 20-Apr-15 12:29:33

This marriage makes you unhappy

That's enough reason to leave.

There are also 'additional' reasons including him withholding affection and treating you with unkindness.

Be very aware of what your dc are learning about relationships here: they are learning that women's job in a relationship is appeasing a man - is that what you want to teach them?

Time to lean on your friends and move forwards. Understandable to fear the unknown. Keep posting here.

I wish you strength.

despicableshe Mon 20-Apr-15 12:51:09

Thank you handywoman. We've been able to talk much more cordially, it's such a shame we couldn't disagree more amiably in all these years. He wants to make it work now, but concedes that if I want us to separate, then so be it.

My main concern are the DC. He's a lot better tempered with them than when I posted on the other threads I posted. My eldest is my main concern, she gets so upset when we row, and I do try to talk with DH about difficult topics either when the kids are out or asleep so that they don't overhear. DH had no such concern (possibly due to his own childhood) and that really bothers me. My oldest DC was so upset when she thought that her daddy was leaving last time, a few months ago.

I didn't expect to feel so confused or sad. My friends say I'm not being unreasonable. I just keep second guessing myself and find it hard to concentrate on anything.

pocketsaviour Mon 20-Apr-15 18:39:28

Ending a marriage is always going to be sad and confusing, because you know that whatever you do is going to hurt your kids one way or the other.

Do you feel its worth giving relationship counselling a try? If he has improved since you talked then perhaps there is some hope that he can sustain a change?

fuzzywuzzy Mon 20-Apr-15 18:51:17

Your DC don't know anything better.

It may turn out that they're much happier in a calm and tranquil household where their parents don't live together.

Your children need security, yu can reassure yur DC that they have you and & you love them and build your own little world.

When I first got divorced, my eldest was so deeply sad, and everywhere I went there seemed to be lovely dad's playing wth their DC, one day I was taking DD to school and she kept turning to look back, when I looked I saw a father playing with his little son (same age as DD by the looks), I asked DD at that point if she wanted her father to live with us again, I can honestly say I was willing to beg him to come back for her sake. My DD looked me in the face and said 'no, I want a nice daddy...' Me heart just felt utterly shattered then.

Eight years later we have a pretty damn amazing DP & exactly the kind of role model I want my DC to learn from about what makes a good healthy relationship & what is an equal loving partner.

I'd die if DC's ended up with P's like their biological father (god forbid).

Ask yourself, would you want yur DC to end up in a relationship wth a partner like yur husband playing your current role?

AliMonkey Mon 20-Apr-15 22:50:59

I have never been in your position but I do know that people can change and you should not assume that past patterns of behaviour will continue forever. If you genuinely think that there are signs that this marriage could work then I personally think you should give it a bit more time, particularly if you are both willing to go to Relate and are willing to talk things through outside that. The outcome may be that you can see that the good in staying together outweighs the bad, or it may be that it is obvious that things will never be good enough for it to be right to stay.

Agree with your DH a timescale during which you both think things through, go to counselling and give it a go. Surely it's worth giving it another 6 months to see if you can get your marriage back on track. If it's not changed enough in that time (or indeed he goes back to old behaviour after that) then you separate.

despicableshe Tue 21-Apr-15 06:00:31

Thanks again for everyone's feedback. He doesn't want to end it, but doesn't want the current uncertainty either, which is understandable. We've got more talking to do. I need to figure out what I want to do.

despicableshe Tue 21-Apr-15 06:47:32

Ok, I showed this thread to one of my closest friends who knows what's been happening, and she told me off for not giving enough details smile Apologies,I didn't mean to drip feed. I don't want to slag him off and paint him as the bad guy, nor do I want to make us identifiable, hence my lack of details in prior posts. He has good points - he's faithful, reliable, honest to a fault, is very principled. He does, by his own admission, have his own issues which I don't feel I should go into here.

There have been times I haven't stood up to him or complained when he has said or done things to upset me, but then again I found an old MN post from 7 years ago under a different user name that I had, saying that we had a row where he swore at me (a big deal to me as we're quite religious) and the reason for the quarrel was so trivial.

Last year things came to a head where I told him about my overall dissatisfaction with our relationship. No changes made. 3 months later I reiterated it, but this time saying I can't deal any longer, though he had agreed to counselling. Things became very emotional and he threatened and made a suicide attempt. This frightened and shocked me. The despair he showed broke my heart but I insisted we should be apart, then his despair turned to anger. He wasn't violent, but very upset. He took ages to pack, by which time our DC came home. He told the eldest that mummy doesn't want daddy anymore, then he said "No, I'm staying". DC was distraught, hence my reluctance and fear of unsettling them further. Eventually I caved in and we gave things another go. He became ill so things were put on hold and some improvements made, but he began to speak to me disrespectfully again.

What I find difficult is that there have been so many good memories among all the crap, even recently. I'm going to seek counselling for myself too. I hate being such a drip and indecisive and weak, but I don't want to do the wrong thing.

wannaBe Tue 21-Apr-15 07:59:19

Op, only you know the true state of your relationship and whether it can be fixed. A few swearing incidents do not necessarily make an emotionally abusive person, but equally a few moments of niceness don't make a good person either, iyswim.

But I do believe that people can change - if they really want to, and both parties want to make things work, the exception being if there was violence. and sometimes it takes someone wanting to leave the situation to make people realise what is at steak and want to do something about it.

And just because you go to relate doesn't mean you can't still split up down the line if things don't work out. But if you both really want to make things work then you can still try.

The key is to talk to each other, and decide what you want and what is needed to get there. And then take it from there.

pocketsaviour Tue 21-Apr-15 16:26:09

What you describe about the suicide attempt (half-hearted?) and the emotional blackmail, abusing and confusing your children emotionally, is very concerning.

If he was unable to sustain a change in his disrespectful behaviour, even after being so distraught at the thought of losing you that he was supposedly suicidal then a) he wasn't suicidal and b) he's not going to ever change.

However, at least his former behaviour has given you a snapshot of how you can expect him to behave this time around. Begging and pleading, being amazingly nice, then crying, threatening suicide, using the children as weapons, and finally being horrible and mean.

So I totally take back my previous comment about trying counselling, and suggest you make firm plans to leave, and gird your loins against the emotional blackmail that will follow.

PS If you don't like swearing MN must be a bit of a minefield sometimes grin

despicableshe Tue 21-Apr-15 21:10:32

pocketsaviour general swearing doesn't bother me so long as it's not used at me IYSWIM?

We are going to counselling, but I have iterated that it's only so that if/when the marriage ends, I can say I've tried everything possible.

JessicaLuis232 Sat 03-Sep-16 08:25:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

despicableshe Sun 02-Jul-17 10:51:28

Thank you to all those who contributed to this thread, I thought it was time I updated you on some things smile

1. We're now divorced, and I'm glad we did so
2. He once told me I'd never amount to anything. I've now got a new career and am about to graduate with a first class honours degree smile
3. I've hard to work so hard to help my children through this but looking back they're happier not to be in a house that has constant tension. I have no problem being civil to their father.
4. I feel like I'm healing well from it all, giving thought as to why we married, my self esteem and so on. It's not been easy but I think I'm getting there.
5. Sometimes you really can't see things for what they are until you leave the situation. Looking back at my old posts (under other pseudonyms too), I can't believe how much shit I put up with.

Thanks again for those who gave their advice and support.

IWantABlueBanana Sun 02-Jul-17 15:01:15

Good for you despicable

PhilODox Sun 02-Jul-17 15:06:17

So pleased for you flowers
What wonderful outcomes.

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