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Starting the divorce process, but I still love him. Anyone else?

(24 Posts)
Choppeddates Thu 09-Jul-15 11:53:51

Just that. We are beginning the divorce process. We are compatible in many ways, and have had wonderful times together and have created a very positive family unit for our children. There is no abuse and no one else involved.

The problem is that we bickered a lot, but his response was always to throw a grenade in to the problem, either by utterly overreacting, shouting and slamming doors, or by cancelling plans. This happened fairly regularly. We were good at getting over things quite quickly, but it has dawned on me that I don't went this to be my life. Good times, interrupted by high drama, nastiness and tension.

I still love him, I still care for him. Is this normal?

juneau Thu 09-Jul-15 11:57:16

Have you tried to resolve this bickering via counselling? Would he try some anger management therapy? On the surface this sounds like you just need some more healthy conflict resolution techniques to make your marriage work, so have to explored this route?

Choppeddates Thu 09-Jul-15 12:09:27

We tried counselling 18 months ago. It worked well, for about 6 months. Then slowly everything crept back in again. And here we are, five years married and have had more high drama then I suspect most couples have in a lifetime. I never recall my father flouncing out of the house, slamming doors, cancelling people coming over... All because of a little tiff. I don't want my children to see it. I want them to continue to think he is the wonderful father he is to them.

juneau Thu 09-Jul-15 14:42:32

What does he say about all this flouncing when he's calmed down a bit? Is he remorseful or does he think his behaviour was justified? He does sound like a real drama queen, which must be extremely wearing.

As for your original question - I think people get divorced for all kinds of reasons - but if you just feel you can't live with him and his moods any more then that's reason enough. You can love someone and still not want to live with them.

nrv0us Thu 09-Jul-15 14:42:41

I'm sure this is common -- if you've built a life and family together then you must be very enmeshed emotionally. It's not like you can just flip a switch and erase all that history.

Vincenza1974 Thu 09-Jul-15 15:15:42

I'm about to file for divorce for virtually the same reason. I love my husband. He was my best friend but his constant mood swings over the last 2 years have virtually destroyed anything we had. It makes me very sad for our son but I cannot expose the kids to it anymore. Or indeed myself. I just want to live in a house where holidays and family occasions are happy and not dictated by him and his temper tantrums. He doesn't get it, won't admit it which leaves me nowhere else to go. If he even acknowledged he had a problem I would support him in sorting it out but he won't and so it goes on.... It's time to stop now.

Janette123 Thu 09-Jul-15 16:38:10

ChoppedDates,
My first husband cheated and I divorced him.
I still loved him when I divorced him and I still loved him a year later.
However, I knew that he didn't love me and I couldn't forgive him for what he did.
It took well over two years for my heart to catch up with my head IYKWIM.
I think this is very common.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 09-Jul-15 17:30:10

I think situations like yours are not uncommon. We've been taught that 'love conquers all' but I believe, like the song says, 'sometimes love ain't enough'. You can love someone to distraction, they can be a 'basically nice person', and you can still be 100% incompatible.

All you can do is acknowledge the love whilst not forgetting the incompatibility. When you feel unsure or overwhelmed by 'what if' just tell yourself "Yes, I do love him, but the 'X Y Z' behaviours made our home an unhappy one. We tried to fix it but it didn't work. I deserve a peaceful and happy life, so does he". Just keep repeating it. At some point the deep feelings will die away and you'll be left (hopefully) with just a feeling of friendship, which is not a bad thing.

Choppeddates Thu 09-Jul-15 17:44:14

Thank you, each of you, for your responses. So thoughtful, and I appreciate it.

I don't went to sound like a drama queen, but I really feel in turmoil. He is such a good man, I trust him implicitly. Why why why does he behave like a two year at the first hint of trouble. I watch him slamming doors and kicking toys as he leaves the room and I just can't believe I am married to this beast. Then, an hour later, he is playing with the children, being utterly patient with them as ever, and I feel so much love for him. We get on so well, a real match in many respect, but his behaviour on occasion is intolerable. I particularly cannot BEAR the way he wants to cancel plans made at the last minute. I am faced with ringing people to tell them, bbqs are off, or taking the children to Lego land on my own because he had a tizzy about something. We have ordinary bickers, but he throws a grenade under them. Yes, he is remorseful in occasion, but I think he does it so frequently that he would be apologising every bloody weekend, and I think he has stopped expressing remorse because it was just getting ridiculous.

Vincenza, our situations sound remarkably similar. What is your husbands response? Has he admitted a problem?

I very much feel alone. No parents. A wonderful set of friends, but I am steeling myself to share this. Some have an idea that there are real difficulties, but others have very little idea. They will be devastated for me, and I have a real thing about people pitying me.

I also cannot escape the worry about finances. I am SAHM, and we lead a very comfortable life. That is going to change, quite significantly for us both I feel. Me obviously massively more.

Choppeddates Thu 09-Jul-15 17:47:14

Vincenza, I apologise. I see that your husband refuses to admit his problem.

Mine does partly accept he has a problem. But is very passive about doing anything about it.

Choppeddates Thu 09-Jul-15 17:50:53

Sorry to go on, as I say, at the moment I am keeping this largely to myself in RL.

I am so very frustrated. Life is so good, we are in good health, we have no money worries, we have two happy and healthy children, we have a great social life, we enjoy the gym, so much is so good. Why can't he see that and cherish it? Why does he contrarily have to piss over everything.

I have experienced some truly horrific times in the loss of my parents, and I know what real stress feels like, I know the horror of grief. So I guess I am particularly keen to cherish life, and it upsets me enormously that we waste glorious days in a black cloud of tension. Life is too short.

wideboy26 Thu 09-Jul-15 18:48:56

I'm surprised that the idea of divorce wasn't enough to shock him back into reality. I am guilty of having been short tempered with basically everything, due (in my view) to the worry of having to provide for 6 of us and struggling to hold down a job that provided handsomely, but which I was unable to do easily. When after gentle attempts to get me to address my anger my wife said that she could no longer live with me, I suddenly woke up and started to listen. This was all 20 years ago and I am now happily retired from that bloody job, but I couldn't have lost my wife for want of a bit of self searching and honest appraisal of my self.

Choppeddates Thu 09-Jul-15 19:34:59

Wideboy, that is very interesting. Yes, I think that the stress of a very well paid, stressful but ultimately profoundly unsatisfying job, definitely contributes to his moods and behaviour.

He is very proud. I don't think he would ever just " wake up and listen". Sadly.

Choppeddates Thu 09-Jul-15 19:35:44

What did you do wideboy? Therapy?

AreYouSupposedToBeInIowa Thu 09-Jul-15 20:14:14

Are there any consequences to his bad behaviour Chopped ? Have you ever tried going totally batshit crazy at him and telling him you have had a total titful and you are out at the next tantrum?
Does he know he will soon be a divorced man or is all this still a secret?

Choppeddates Thu 09-Jul-15 20:20:15

He knows. I have zero idea what he is thinking. He has shut down. As have I truth be told.

Have I ever gone batshit crazy on him? To be perfectly honest, when he is having one of his episodes I am usually trying to down play in front of the children. I'm sometimes hardly listening to him, just trying to out on a front to the children. If we are alone and he goes off on one, I'm either feeling a bit intimidated by it all and don't sent to fan the flames, or if I am feeling a bit more bolshy, I usually go for the scathing look and a bit dismissive of him. That goes down like a lead balloon, but at least I feel that I'm giving something back.

ALaughAMinute Thu 09-Jul-15 20:26:44

Does he love you?

If he loves you, ask him to go and get some anger management. If he refuses, then you are probably best off divorcing him IMO.

Do you want a happy life or not?

You don't have to put up with his moods and his tantrums. There is a way out. flowers

wideboy26 Thu 09-Jul-15 20:44:09

Our relationship deteriorated over a period of about 8 years. That's another long story but we came through it and everything has been very good since we turned it around. Maybe we needed to experience that to get to where we are now. From my standpoint, my marriage and family are the most important things to me and I would do anything to support them - even work in a job for about 10 years that wasn't entirely good for the marriage! I only ever wanted to be happily married with a family; my career would always be secondary whereas for many men their career is everything and if their marriage suffers, well that's just too bad. I had the sheer good luck to end up in a job that paid very well and enabled me to provide for my family in the way I felt duty bound to do. I know that wives see it differently and mine assured me that the money was not important to her, although it was never put to the test. I can only explain it as a sort of addiction; the more I realised I could earn, the more I wanted to graft for the benefit of my family. But, of course, it made me a little single minded and detached - and I think that is what made me short-tempered with anything and everything.

The other side of the well paid job is that it has enabled me to have a very comfortable retirement. I've been retired just over a year, I've never been happier and my relationships with my wife and children (all grown up and flown the nest) have never been better. If they need financial help, I'm always there. If they need advice, I have all the time in the world for them. It could all have been so different and I do find myself counting my blessings in my many spare moments.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 09-Jul-15 22:19:54

My DH and I are a 'marriage counseling' success story. But it was a hard slog and we both had to be totally committed to fixing our marriage. Ours also had to do with DH's temper. I just got to the point where I sent the children to my parents and sat him down with our bags packed and told him that we would not be back if things didn't change. It shocked him into reality. Again, things weren't fixed overnight and we've had a few 'tune up' sessions over the past 15 years (married almost 30) when he's slipped back into old habits. So it can be done. But if your DH isn't 100% committed to changing his behaviour and acknowledging down the road when he needs a 'tune up' then you are better off without him in the home.

Choppeddates Fri 10-Jul-15 12:53:40

Wide and across, you give me a lot of hope.

We are close to the end of the road, no doubt about it. I feel though that we should once again try therapy. There is a good basis there, it has just been trampled on so many times that it is hard to see.

Thank you for kind words

Vincenza1974 Fri 10-Jul-15 12:59:20

Choppeddates.... sorry for delay. They do sound remarkably similar. No he has never really admitted. When we got to this point last time he did make some comments about his bad behaviour and how he had ruined countless family occasions but he was kicking off again less than a week later and enough was enough for me.

He is very anti- counselling (a mindset generated by his parents which is not helpful) so I don't really see that there is anything I can do. I could actually kill him for wrecking what could be a wonderful relationship and family. Like you we have a nice house, are well off, have lovely children and yet over and over again he ruins things for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

He has moved out the house now. Our solicitors are in divorce negotiations and I have still seen no real remorse (a few faux overtures to reconciliation but nothing real). He has bad mouthed me and lied about me to a lot of people which really leaves me in a situation of no return. Me and my sons deserve someone who treats us with respect. When I think of all the things I have done for him and the way I have been treated in return it makes me want to vomit.

This is the second divorce I have been through. The first one was for very similar reasons. Maybe it is me. I don't know. My friends tell me not and I have constantly rexamined my behaviour and I can't really excuse what he has done. However, I do know what he is throwing away and I want to shake him for being so stupid.

Ironically the reason i married him is that he was so nice to me. I don't really know why it went downhill after we had our baby but it is what it is. I can't put my children through it anymore.

OhMittens Fri 10-Jul-15 14:21:08

It sounds like maybe he has been allowed to behave like this growing up. It's classic adult tantrums. He has clearly never learnt a healthy way of expressing his emotions, whether that be throwing tantrums or bottling up resentments so much that they burst out in angry episodes. I grew up with a tantrumming parent. It wasn't nice, to put it mildly. Your children will remember at least some of it and they will feel resentful when they look back and realise how many special events were spoilt.

My sibling and I still talk about the things that went on, how we would never dream of behaving like that in front of our children and why didn't someone say something. You might also find yourself in the firing line for enabling his behaviour by tolerating it (rightly or wrongly, I can see you want to save what peace there is but they might remember that as standing by and doing nothing). I guess I want to say that at least from my point of view as the child of a parent who acted like this, you are right to take it very seriously.

So you are right to recognise this as crunch point. However I can see that you do still love him and parts of your life together do work.

I think if you want to try therapy once again then do. Just to ensure that you feel you did everything possible to make it work. Although I don't know if you need marriage therapy as much as he needs anger management. He certainly needs to learn healthy ways of expressing his feelings.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 10-Jul-15 14:24:14

Suggest therapy by all means. But remember he has to be willing to admit fault and commit to change. And acknowledge that there may be times in the future he will need to reevaluate his behaviour. He will need to be open to you pointing out that he's not using the tools that a good counselor will give him.

Our counseling wasn't just 'all about him'. There were things I needed to change, too. I knew very well how to push his buttons and be a wee bit PA. So it is a two way street. If I were to apportion 'blame' I'd say it was 75% him and 25% me. That doesn't excuse his behaviour, it just acknowledges that I wasn't always the best partner at helping him avoid it.

I think you will know when the time is right to call it a day. If he won't go or is just giving lip service, of course it's time to call it. If the reverting to behaviour is frequent, it's time then, too. Also, if his behaviour is ever physical (putting hands on you or the children) or emotionally abusive to the children (you can decide if any EA to yourself can be handled through counseling) then it is your duty to end the marriage.

Choppeddates Fri 10-Jul-15 21:37:59

Wow, I don't know what to say. Genuinely helpful responses that have really got me thinking. Thank you.

Ok, Vincenza, thank you for sharing your experience. Isn't it devastating. Why the hell do they do it? Happy family experiences, pissed up the wall by their shocking over reaction. I would love to just be able to have an argument with my husband, without it turning in to world war 3. I too feel very angry, and have done for some time. Angry that after all I have been through (long story), I am so keen to make the most out if life, but he continually drags it down.

Ohmittens, you have hit the nail on the head. He was allowed to behave like this growing up. Lovely parents who deeply love him, but strangely detached in a sense. He doesn't hold back in front of them, and is very rude and curt with them, but they just take it. Don't even look up from their dinner plates if he's being rude to them, just sort of carry on like normal. It's left to me to tell him to refrain from talking to his parents so rudely, or to stop going on at his dad. I just want them to say "for goodness sakes, do not talk to me like that. The way you talk to me is simply appalling, very rude and very hurtful". Or similar. They don't and I don't believe they ever have. It's almost like they can't be bothered to. It is a major contributing factor to the situation we now find ourselves in.

Across, we have agreed anger management therapy. I have given him a week to arrange it. My foot is very much out the door. I love him, but I find his behaviour pretty abismal, and I do want myself or our children to be around it. my logic is that if we do part, they will not ever witness their father shouting at their mother over something utterly trivial, or stomping off on a family day out, or cancelling plans. The will never know and so continue to have a great relationship with their father. Whereas we stay together, I believe it is last inevitable that their relationship will be negatively effected. I too believe that I share the blame and also think 25/75! Couples therapy will follow the anger management, if appropriate. If not appropriate, we will go our separate ways.

I feel angry, sad and scared. This is not what I hoped for my children.

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