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I ruined my life because I was weak and scared

(46 Posts)
brasseur Thu 02-Jul-15 00:34:29

I am 40 with a little boy of 2, I am a stay at home Dad, been with my wife for 19 years and married for 13 years she has a very good well paid job which makes our life on one wage comfortable.

My parents both died suddenly when I was in my early 20's and I had a kind of breakdown, did very badly in my finals at university after that I just drifted. My wife at that time my girlfriend was my lifeline, being driven, knowing exactly what she wants and getting it she seemed very strong to me and I needed that. During that time she left me several times to try things with other men telling me directly that she would rather be with a man who could match her income and that she felt her quality of life would suffer with me. I always took her back, when these affairs ended.

Around this time I did meet someone else and i I did fall in love with her. She was the only person I have ever been able to be myself with and not feel bad about who I am or pretend to be something else. I am ashamed to say part of my reason for not starting a relationship with her (we were only ever friends) was that I did want the security and lifestyle my wife could provide me with, I am a wealthy background and used to a certain lifestyle. This other woman was working class and lived in a council flat and that did put me off imagining the hard life we would both have as low earners so I stayed with the women who would become my wife.

Eventually we married after she gave me an ultimatum. I put off asking her to marry me for a long time because I had so many doubts. It was ok at first but things got worse, my wife has a very stressful job and as she rose up and worked longer hours our relationship suffered. She would come home in bad mood every day and it would be hours before she would even speak to me. We had very little quality time together,So much tme was spend on socialising with her friends and colleagues and her charity work (sounds great but it was all part of her image building) it felt like the only time we spent real time alone was if we went on holiday.

She wanted a baby badly after a few years, I didn't but hoped it would bring us together. It made sense for me to be the main carer but my wife resents me for not working, for not making enough when I do work, she resents the time I spend with our son and the times she has to care for him while I get a break at weekends say to go for a run or (rarely) watch a game with friends. She doesn't treat me like a partner or lover but as a member of staff who is always doing a bad job. Even so she is now talking about having another baby and I don't think I can do it.

I realise now when my parents died and I had my breakdown I handed the reins of my life to a woman I would probably not have stayed with in different circumstances. She saw my weakness and both abused and despised me for it. She railroaded me into every decision in my adult life jobs, marriage, children, where to live and so on. I don't blame her because I wanted her to do it I didn't want responsibility for my own life and I see that when real love showed up that would require my to be a man for once I ran away from it like a scared little boy back to mummy.

Now perhaps because I feel responsible for someone else's life as a parent I can finally take responsibility for my own. I am not sure what needs to happen. I don't think my wife and I really love each other, perhaps we never did but there may be some way to work things out, it just doesn’t feel like it.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 02-Jul-15 00:37:19

You are free to leave an unhappy marriage at any time. This is the UK

brasseur Thu 02-Jul-15 00:40:10

That is true but I have my son to think of and then my wife. I feel like I made my choice I might not like it but that I am here by my own hand. I can't get those years back. The girl I loved before is now married to a better man than me. This realisation is kind of new to me so I am still processing it.

StaircaseAtTheUniversity Thu 02-Jul-15 00:45:22

Whether the girl is married or not is irrelevant. There are infinite possibilities out there. Don't spend the next forty years unhappy. Leave. Your son will be fine if you continue to love him in the same way.

shitebag Thu 02-Jul-15 00:47:08

I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a bad patch at the moment, have you spoken to your wife about how she makes you feel and about your past circumstances?

If not, can I suggest you do because it may well be that she struggles too and by the sounds of it you are both just muddling along in your own world's rather than working together to fix things.

Of course, if you have made up your mind and just can't see things working anymore then you can leave the relationship behind and still be a good Dad if that's a worry.

SavoyCabbage Thu 02-Jul-15 00:53:22

It's not about the other woman from all those years ago. If you are unhappy now there are things you can do about it.

If you split up from your wife, and it doesn't sound like you like her at all, then you can still be a good parent.

If you feel like your marriage is salvageable then there are things you can do there too.

It sounds to me like it would be a benefit to you to get a career of your own as you sound very unhappy that that is something didn't happen for you.

minkGrundy Thu 02-Jul-15 00:56:09

If you were a woman on MN in the same position (in an i happy marriafe for financial reasons) the advice you would get is, forget about the lost love. That's long gone. But at least you learned some things are maybe more important in a rs than money.
Leave your marriage if you are unhappy. As main carer you will get child maintenance, tax credits etc. Plus a share of marital assets on divorce.

Life as a lone parent is often easier than struggling in an unhappy rs.

You can both the learn to co-parent and also have the opportunity to find happiness apart.

minkGrundy Thu 02-Jul-15 00:56:57

In an unhappy marriage. Sorry typos. Its late.

Trills Thu 02-Jul-15 01:01:20

I agree with mink

Leave your unhappy marriage.

Come to terms with the kind of lifestyle YOU can provide for yourself.

Do not imagine a future with someone from many years ago - imagine your OWN future with you in charge of it.

Vivacia Thu 02-Jul-15 06:34:25

If you were a woman posting you would not be being advised to talk with an abusive, cheating spouse. You would not be being advised to get a career and jeopardise your position as main carer.

StrawberryMojito Thu 02-Jul-15 06:44:52

From what I can see the cheating occurred when they were in their early 20s long before they were married and the abuse involved making decisions for a person that by his own admission didn't want to make any. I'm not sure that either of them are the villain just two people who should probably have never got married.

OP, I think you and your wife should consider counseling, or separate. I also think you should make steps to become financially independent in the long term.

Nolim Thu 02-Jul-15 06:50:41

Forget the past.
Focus on the future.
Your situation is not going to magically change. Agree with those who say that it is important to become financialy independent.

kittybiscuits Thu 02-Jul-15 06:52:10

I'm with Mohito. It sounds very difficult for both of you and I don't see a villain. People whose choices are to passively allow others to make decisions which they don't want or agree with are not innocent victims. I do think that both of you could have more fulfilling lives apart from each other.

Joysmum Thu 02-Jul-15 07:11:38

I'm glad you realise you're only with your wife due to circumstance.

Sounds to me like you are on the path to finally coming to terms with the death of your parents and ready to build the life that you need to have to be true to you and your child.

So, go on the websites to calculate benefit entitlements should you need them and speak to a solicitor about what the process of separating is and what maintenance payments you can expect.

Even if you don't feel ready to jump now, do these things to give you choices. You could also look at retraining to give you some marketable skills to go to work. This can be done from home with distance learning.

stolemyusername Thu 02-Jul-15 07:30:10

Joysmum I wanted to question what you mean by maintenance payments? Surely he doesn't automatically get to take the child as he's woken up to the fact that he has been what would be described as a 'cocklodger' in MN terms.

OP, I understand that you have been through some tough times, but to freely admit that you only stayed with your DW as her income provided you with the lifestyle you were used to? That's awful! While you feel that you have been mistreated by her, she might feel that she has supported you and seemingly got nothing in return. She has had to work to support you whilst you looked after your child which is something she might feel resentful towards you for.

Stop using your DW for a free ride, look at what you can do to support yourself and let her find someone who treats her as an equal, not a meal ticket!

Babycham1979 Thu 02-Jul-15 07:39:45

How is he a cocklodger, Stolemyusername? Surely, like any other SAHM on MN, the OP and his wife both entered this arrangement with their eyes open, and the agreement to have a child where she worked and he cared was made in full knowledge of the allocation of responsibilities.

OP, you've had surprisingly tame responses on here; if the sexes were reversed, your wife would be called abusive and a cunt and you'd be told to screw her for the house and maintenance. This posts would be wrong, though.

If life is making you this unhappy, you have to end the relationship. Chances are, you WILL get custody and you may get maintenance. If your wife has had previous affairs, she probably will do again. If work consumes all her time, I suspect she's not happy with your home life either, and may be relieved you also want to end it. Could it be another baby is a desperate attempt for her to fix things?

Forget about the other woman. You were weak and venal and blew your chance, but you live and learn. Things will get better.

Horsemad Thu 02-Jul-15 07:42:22

How is this man any different to many SAHM who stay in unhappy marriages for convenience?
Are they the female equivalent of 'cocklodgers'?

One of the couple is the main wage earner and one stays home to care for their child. The gender of each is irrelevant imo.

SoupDragon Thu 02-Jul-15 07:44:01

Surely he doesn't automatically get to take the child as he's woken up to the fact that he has been what would be described as a 'cocklodger' in MN terms.

Oh FFS. He is a SAHP who appears to have a controlling spouse.

stolemyusername Thu 02-Jul-15 07:47:21

Babycham and Horsemad

My post wasn't well written, I was referring to the way he described his life before the child came along I am ashamed to say part of my reason for not starting a relationship with her (we were only ever friends) was that I did want the security and lifestyle my wife could provide me with, I am a wealthy background and used to a certain lifestyle. This other woman was working class and lived in a council flat and that did put me off imagining the hard life we would both have as low earners so I stayed with the women who would become my wife Especially the part about the security and lifestyle my wife could provide me with, surely at this point in a relationship the op should be considering how he will support himself, not staying with someone for what they could provide him with. But no, being a main carer for a child doesn't make hi a cocklodger.

tribpot Thu 02-Jul-15 07:54:32

No, a cocklodger is someone who does nothing at home. OP is simply a SAHP like many on MN, assuming he is the primary care for the ds and looks after the house.

Nolim Thu 02-Jul-15 07:55:42

if genders were reversed everyone would say ltb, not surely at this point in a relationship the op should be considering how he will support himself, not staying with someone for what they could provide him with.

But i agree that becoming independant should be a priority.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 02-Jul-15 07:56:51

Op

What to do is go back to university to train in a decent career. That will boost your esteem and self respect.

Then see where your marriage is at. There's no rush to end it by what you say.

Wherediditallgoright Thu 02-Jul-15 08:01:37

If you wanted a certain lifestyle why didn't you work for it like your wife?

At least you are honest I suppose by admitting that you married your wife for her income not out of love for her.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, the death of your parents would have contributed to your lack of drive.

Like you say in your title, you are now paying the price for the choices you made for the wrong reasons. I can't see you finding happiness unless you leave.

Joysmum Thu 02-Jul-15 08:02:45

If they split, he'll be the primary caregiver for the child and will be entitled to maintenance as well as some benefits posdibky and should work towards making himself employable.

I fail to see how my post is controversial stole. confused

stolemyusername Thu 02-Jul-15 08:09:05

I don't think it is controversial Joys and perhaps my posts are coming across as wrong, but the OP admitted he started and married his wife for what she could provide him with. I feel sad for the mother in that after supporting him through awful times and facilitating him to be a SAHP by being the main wage earner she might be facing the possibility of losing her child as he has changed his mind about what he wants.

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