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Finding it hard to make a decision(14 Posts)
I'll try and make this succinct!!
H and I have been together for 14 years and married for 9. We have 3 school aged DCs together.
After the birth of our youngest child I had PND, he was in denial and threw himself into his work, and I felt as though I was left to drag myself out of depression and look after the kids full time. I can see in retrospect that I ended up shutting him out in my attempt to be able to cope by myself - he was rarely around due to his job - he is a medic and does a lot of stuff in addition to his "normal" job which has meant he is often spending time away from me and the children.
2 years ago I was at the end of my tether with him chosing to be away from us so much, and I told him that I wanted to split up. He was devastated, shortly followed by being very angry and saying that he would battle me for half of everything - money (my parents have a lot of money and have been generous in giving some to me, which he has said he will look to get in a divorce settlement), custody of the children etc. I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to do, and made the decision to stay together.
We had some counselling in the months that followed that, which I am not sure helped, but certainly things since that time have been more settled, and less awful, as previously I was very unhappy and crying most of the time.
2 years on, and I am still undecided in what to do. I don't love my husband. I can say that without any doubt. We don't have sex, not because he doesn't ask, as he frequently does, but because I always say no, as I do to any sort of physical contact. Not a day has gone by in the past two years when I have been glad that we made the decision to stay together. Life is not terrible; we can be civil to each other and he is not a bad person, but I don't know if I should have been bold enough to make the decision to split and carry it through.
I am terrified that I would lose so much. Not only financially, which would be annoying, but that he would go for at least partial custody of the children and I would lose so much time with them. Part of me feels inclined to stay just so that I don't lose time with them, and so I can look after them (I get very frustrated with H's inability to just do the basics for the children such as get them to school on time, remember to brush their teeth before they go out, and remember that DD wears glasses and needs to wear them all the time, not just when he remembers to put them on her). I don't have to put them through a split, but on the other hand I feel as though I am wasting my life in a relationship that I don't really want to be in.
What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours does your husband meet?.
Staying for the children is rarely if ever a good idea. Better to be apart and happier than to be together and miserable as you are now.
Has your PND now been properly addressed?.
What do you think your children are learning about relationships here; they are picking up on all the vibes and know instinctively that you as their parents are unhappy. They do not even have to hear all the rows (although sound travels). They see your coldness towards each other and regard that as their "normal". They perhaps even blame themselves on some level. You cannot protect them fully from what is happening at home, they are aware on some level that something is badly wrong here.
Do you really want to teach your children that a loveless marriage like the one you are showing them is their "norm". Its no legacy to leave them and they are not going to thank either of you for staying within this. They are not going to thank you for resentment or bitterness or appreciate being told, "oh the sacrifices I made for you". Your relationship with them as adults could well be irreparably harmed or certainly not close because they could well accuse you as putting him before them. You cannot also burden a child with a choice you made.
Also do you think that someone as innately selfish as your H will likely want to go for even 50/50 residency of these children given his job and outside interests?. He will likely still put his outside interests over and above his children, he has done before now and has left you to hold the fort. Why can't he do the "basics"; is it because you do not let him or he really cannot be asked?.
I would seek legal advice asap if you have not already done so; you do not have to act on it but knowledge after all is power.
I cannot imagine that any separation will be amicable anyway given his previous demands, he will make a process of separation as long and as drawn out as possible.
Sorry, ended up having to post before I was ready!
I suppose my question is; am I justified in ending a relationship and breaking up our family because I don't love my husband?
I feel as though what I should be doing is keeping us together, but that conflicts what I want to do, which is to try and find some happiness and living my life rather than spending half of my time trying to avoid my husband.
Thanks Attila, the only need of mine that he currently meets is payment of the mortgage and the bills. The might sound harsh, but it's the truth. I completely understand what you mean about the example that I am giving to the children about what a relationship is like, and I know that it is not how I want them to grow up. I want them to be in a happy home, with laughter and fun. When H is around at mealtimes (rarely, usually only at weekends) he doesn't say anything and it's me making conversation with the children. I know that's not right, but I also worry that he would be like that if we split and the children would be miserable.
He does have the opportunity to do the basics, he takes them to school one day a week when I work, but they are always late (the kids are ready by the time I leave for work, he doesn't get up early enough to have a shower to get them there on time), about 50% of the time he will forget to brush their teeth, and there have been 2 occasions where he has taken them out for a whole day without DDs glasses.
Who knows if he would really go for 50/50 residency of the children, that was certainly his threat though.
This man would never go for 50/50 custody! His contribution to the children on a practical level is rather low.
He said what he did as a threat. He clearly knows they are your weak spot and his comments were designed to cause you concern and worry.
You truly should leave if you are not happy. You aren't gaining anything by staying together.
Don't waste your life. He has clearly got his head in the sand over the issues in your marriage. He can't be happy.
re this part of your comment:-
"I completely understand what you mean about the example that I am giving to the children about what a relationship is like, and I know that it is not how I want them to grow up. I want them to be in a happy home, with laughter and fun. When H is around at mealtimes (rarely, usually only at weekends) he doesn't say anything and it's me making conversation with the children. I know that's not right, but I also worry that he would be like that if we split and the children would be miserable".
I would think your children are pretty much miserable now in their home; they see a physically and emotionally absent dad and a mother who is desperately trying to hold things together.
I would also consider formalising all contact arrangements with him rather than making informal arrangements. That is something you could also discuss with the solicitor.
Things have to change and you do not need anyone's permission to leave this marriage.
"I feel as though what I should be doing is keeping us together". That read like the sunken costs fallacy and that simply causes you to make poor relationship decisions. You must not also get caught up in the sunken costs fallacy; you forget here that the damage here has already been done. This is not working for any of you and your children really will not thank either of you for staying together in such circumstances. His threat was designed to keep you in line, I doubt very much that he would sacrifice his outside interests besides which he hardly seems to see much of them now.
I'm not gunna lie to you.
If your post said that you were wanting to leave him but had absolutely nothing, the advice you would get on here would be to seek legal advice to get all that you can financially out of him. Nothing wrong with that, but he's entitled to do just the same - as he threatened to do.
You're obviously not happy. You admitted so.
Remember that this marriage is a picture you're painting for your kids. They will grow up thinking this is how marriage is.
Honestly, I don't think your H is selfish for what he said about getting some of your finances in a divorce settlement. Because as I said, if it was the other way round you would be encouraged to do what he's said.
Saying that, I don't think your H would really go for 50/50 custody. He doesn't sound like father of the year so chances are he wouldn't get as much money as he'd like to hope.
You can either stay in this "marriage" and continue to be unhappy or you can leave and start a new life. A happier life for you and your children.
But again, if a man came on here saying he was only with his wife because she could pay his mortgage he would be ripped to shreds and labelled a leech. That is no reason to stay with someone.
Fearless, I know he would be entitled to some of the money, which I find galling but am aware is likely to be the outcome. And I am certainly not staying with him because he pays the mortgage, I was asked what needs he currently met of mine and my answer was that he pays the mortgage and the bills.
I think it is the knowledge that things would get a hell of a lot worse before they got better that makes it very hard to justify that choice, even if long term I think we would both (all) be happier.
Sorry I have no advice but I just can't get over how similar our situations are. Also 3 children here, one dd with glasses that we frequently argue over him forgetting to put on her. Forgets teeth brushing etc.
my dh has aspergers which I'm pretty sure is the reason he is so bad at practical things and organisation. He shows no inclination at all to want to improve this though, despite knowing it causes huge problems between us.
I was also unwell after my youngest was born and still haven't forgiven dh for his lack of support over that year or so.
It's so hard to know what to do for the best sometimes
Fearless91 - "You can either stay in this "marriage" and continue to be unhappy or you can leave and start a new life. A happier life for you and your children." I feel incredibly selfish to even want to leave and start a new life. I have been reading other posts on here - from women who are being in some way abused by their partners, or who have had partners leave them devastated. I feel as a woman choosing to leave her husband, splitting up our family, for the only reason that I don't love my husband anymore is just not the right thing to do, although it might be the right thing for me to do. It's not the done thing. And I know I shouldn't care about what other people think and that it's my life, but it is also the life of my children and I don't know what is the right thing to do in their best interests.
Shapebandit - sorry you are going through something (so remarkably) similar. I wouldn't be surprised if my H has aspergers too, he says that he is completely on the ball at work but at home it is a nightmare. Do you have any idea what you are going to do?
And maybe my depression hasn't completely resolved, but then how do I know if it's not being with him that is causing the depression?!
Please don't put the burden of your unhappiness on your children's shoulders.
You are teaching them that marriages are supposed to be joyless, loveless, lifeless.
If your H is currently working so many hours as you describe in your OP, he would be very unlikely to get 50/50 residence.
Can you honestly say that you are currently being a better parent, as unhappy and unfulfilled as you are, than you would be living alone, or with a new partner (in time, obviously) who you actually loved and cared for, and who loved and cared for you?
pocketsaviour - no, I know that I would be a better parent without him, a happier person out of this situation. It just breaks me to think that if we separate, there will be nights that my children, who I always want to be there for, will have to be without me. That's probably just a projection of my own feelings, but DC has said before "I don't like Daddy, he shouts at me", and separating feels as though I would be less able to protect them.
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