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Is there any chance of saving this? (very long)(12 Posts)
I'm looking for some advice on saving my relationship. This post will be long but will hopefully explain everything.
I've been living with my partner for just over 5 years now. We have two children who are very loved and I will do almost anything at this point to ensure they don't grow up in a broken home (but equally to ensure they don't grow up in a hostile home).
At the beginning things moved very quickly (we were living together within 3 months), we were both happy with this and it seemed to work for us. We had a very equal partnership, shared finances, shared housework, and although we both have mental health issues, we seemed to balance each other out well.
It might be important to note that my older DS was already 2 years old when we met, but he took him under his wing and also shared childcare equally. DS accepts my partner as his dad (biological father disappeared when I was pregnant).
As the years went on my mental stability worsened. This was largely a result of my family being part of my life again. When I had first moved in with my partner, I had left behind the emotionally and physically torturous home of my childhood, unfortunately this meant leaving my sister's behind too (at this time they were safe).
My partner had never met my father and so despite my stories, he had no experience of what this man was truly like. When my sisters got in touch, my partner persuaded me to reconnect with them, which meant reconnecting with my father too.
Reliving my abusive past every single time I had to see that man near killed me, I wish I'd kept the clean break.
The final straw came when he (father) tried to kidnap my DS from nursery. I broke all contact there and then (it's been about 4 years now).
But... I got really mentally ill, the man is a complete nutter, he used to stand at the front door for hours on end holding the doorbell, or sit outside in his car, he'd wait at nursery at drop off times, just lurking, and used to send me pictures of DS. I got too scared to leave the house, My partner lost his job because I used to beg him to stay home with me, My father had as good as threatened to kill me and I really believed he would (he was jailed in my childhood for armed robbery and attempted murder).
It was during this time our relationship (mine and DPs) really deteriorated. I was barely getting out of bed, he took over all housework and looking after DS, we were reliant on benefits because he no longer had a job, and honestly even if he found another, I wouldn't have coped alone in the days.
By the time I started to pull myself together, about another year later, around the time my grandparents died within weeks of each other, DP had slipped into depression. He had never visioned his life this way. He was looking after me and DS, had no job, and had given up his social life entirely.
It was obvious to me that he was looking for an escape when he suggested he might be gay, and although I wasn't entirely comfortable with it, I gave him freedom to explore it, I felt like I owed him, my ds would no doubt have been taken into care if it weren't for DP.
He signed up to a few websites and spoke to a few people (genuine questions not sexual exchanges) he never met any of the men (I'm certain of this, as he never left the house without me). He eventually decided it wasn't for him. I'm not sure how relevant that part is, but it hurt me greatly, so may have had a lasting effect. He knows now how much this hurt me, but did not at the time, and given that I'd given "permission" so to speak, I can see why he wouldn't have realised how crushed I was.
There were a few months following this where he came out of his depressive state and got himself a job with the local council.
During this time, just as things were getting better, we ended up, at the request of social workers, looking after my little sister (aged 14 at the time) Following her making allegations of sexual abuse at home. These were later discovered to be untrue (though I had my suspicions from the start, DP wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt which strained our relationship more than ever). This was all dealt with officially and police/social work decided that as my sister had gone to so much effort to escape her home life, she should stay with us. By this point I just wanted her gone but DP wanted to look after her. The false accusations should be enough to give a clear picture on how malicious she can be to get her own way, so you can imagine what that did to our family.
Then my paranoia set back in and I became convinced that she was only living with us to spy for my father. I barely let her near my ds, which is difficult when you all live in the same home.
I resented DP for being out at work when it was his idea yo keep my sister there. I hated it. I just wanted my life to be back the way it was when we first met.
DPs contract came to an end with the council, and we decided that our relationship would benefit if we could both make some friends and do separate stuff. We were in each others faces too much and had nothing to talk about because we did everything together.
We decided to go to college,but because we both suffer anxiety with meeting new people, we chose to take the same course. And then of course, in the soap opera that is my bloody life, I got pregnant. On week one of the course. It was never supposed to happen, but we were thrilled all the same. I did my best to complete college, mainly working from home via email. I began to resent DP again. I had horrid morning sickness and generally felt like a lead weight. I was stuck at home and he was out at college making friends and having a life. It's not his fault, I know that, it was just so typical. We both completed the college course and passed.
Ds2 was born not long after. We now live in a 2 Bedroom flat with our 2 boys and my teenage sister. It's basically hell. Everyone's in each others way all the time. But I love both ds's so much. It was never a pnd issue (well it was with my first but that happened before the events of this post).
Fast-forward a couple of months and my sister now thinking she has got everyone wrapped round her little finger goes a step too far, and I call her social worker and ask Her to leave. She is now 16 and is put into supported accommodation.
I hate myself for it, but the relief was incredible.
Trying to get back on track, DP and I discuss our future. I use rhis opportunity to explain to him that I would like to go to college properly and how much it had bothered me not being able to attend before. He suggests that he be a SAHP (he doesn't agree that babies should go to nursery or we both would have went back to college). And I can return to study.
Unfortunately by the time I applied, the course was full. I tried and failed to find a job, any job to get me out of the house.
Then about 6 months ago we heard that my father had found about our baby and God only knows what he intended to do with that information so we moved across the country (east to West rather that north to South) and moved to being practically on DPs mums doorstep. DPs mum is lovely by the way, not the stereotypical evil MIL by any stretch.
But now I don't know anyone here, and my lasting anxiety makes it ever difficult to meet people. DPs mum has him round there every other day (I am welcome, I choose not to go, and I'm not just left with the kids, he'll often take them) doing all kinds of odd jobs but he never seems to have the time to do things for us anymore. Example: door needing fixed for the last 2 weeks remains unfixed but hes happily sorted his mum's whole house.
Things don't feel equal anymore. I get up with the kids most mornings alone. I do all the housework, I sort everything the kids need, I do the budget and make dinner. But of course I'm unreasonable if I get pissy about him leaving his stuff everywhere.
Then the sex life died. The one thing that stayed alive through everything went from 7-10times a week to maybe once a month. That was the last of the spark. Now it's all gone. I struggle to feel anything when I look at him and I know he feels the same.
It seems like he's just not the man I fell in love with anymore, but we've been through so much I don't just want to let it go, for ourselves as much as our children.
I'm sorry this is so so long but I really don't know what to do, I have no family to turn to for advice and my best friend is DPs sister so she's unlikely to be helpful.
I just want to fix it before it's too late. We're both mentally stable now, and have been for some time (apart from my anxiety).
I just want things to feel right again. Is it done? How on earth do you make those feelings come back?
Short version if it'll get me any advice:
*Already have one DC - meet DP following abusive home life - we move in together very quickly
*Very equal partnership, shared housework, childcare, finances etc.
*-insert loads of family crap here- followed by various bouts of depression, anxiety and paranoia, during which we support each other and look after each other at relevant times/when able to
*Every time stuff gets better more crap happens and me and dp are left picking up the pieces, never really getting time to have our own life (either alone or together)
*We finally get a chance to build a social life (college) I get pregnant and can't attend. We both complete the course but I have missed out on the social aspect which was the whole point.
*Long story short, so much stuff has happened in such a short while we've never been able to enjoy any time together (apart from the very beginning) now we have the opportunity to, I guess we don't know how to.
*Neither of us feel the things we used to, everything seems dead, from sex to the normal day-to-day helping with kids/laundry/whatever.
*Now every little thing the one of us does (or doesn't do) annoys the life out of the other and we're barely tolerating each other.
I just want our relationship to be what it used to be. Loving and caring and happy. Is there any way to get back to this, or do we need to accept that if the feelings are gone, the relationship as we knew it is dead?
Have you spoken to DP about how you feel?
What an awful lot of stuff you've been through
Is DP working now?
DP knows how I feel, but everything's just become so much of a habit now that he doesn't really see the issue at all. It's like he's forgotten who he used to be.
He's currently claiming ESA and seeing a psychologist, but it's evident that he's much better, and it's likely that he won't need this support much longer.
Goodness what a lot you have both been through. I think you are right and sensible to think about college or work that would get you out of the house and a bit of independence from each other.
How about voluntary work? Or short courses/workshops (you often get access to those through volunteering so maybe both!) Is there a particular area/career you are interested in? I think there is sometimes an issue when you spend so much time together without any outside interests that you become blind to each other and stop seeing one another as people and more as part of the furniture.
How old are the DC now?
I would say you need to get sorted what is possible to get sorted, one thing at a time if possible. Start with getting back to sharing the housework and childcare equally. (not sharing fairly when we were both at work, and then later when we were both at home, killed my marriage)
Then you will be in a better position to decide what to do about employment. Doubtless, your DP's ESA award will be reviewed at some point, and he's likely to be found fit for work. Whereupon at least one of you will have to claim JSA and actively seek work.
Blooming hell dude, you've been through the mill, it seems that uv been a tower of strength to one another over the years, and it would be a shame to part ways now. I wish I had something more constructive to say, but I couldn't just ignore your post, I wanted u to know, I'm wishing you all the best, u must be so overwhelmed with everything that's going on, please don't feel like ur alone though, thinking of u anyway, even if I've offered the square root of f@& all advice xxx
Ps all relationships hit a rut at times, could you go to counseling together? X
I have already re-applied for college this year. Where we previously lived I had done some voluntary work in the Cancer Research UK charity shop, but that was before I felt unable to leave the house. There are only two charity shops close to where we are now, and both are full of volunteers unfortunately, hopefully I will have college soon though.
DC are now 7years, and just turned 1.
I agree with needing to get back to a point of equality, sometimes I feel a little guilty about expecting it though, for so long DP held me up when I was unwell and did everything. I suppose we've both had our fair share of holding the other up though, and it's time to get back to normality.
He seems to be looking forward to going back to work, he has 2 psychologist sessions left, then intends to start looking again. There seems to be a lot of availability for what he does around here, so I can't imagine it would take too long.
Thank you for your kind concern. I'm not sure about counselling, hadn't really thought about it, it's certainly something I could look into.
You don't say what he is doing, while you are doing all the household stuff?
I hope it is not gaming, which is what mine did
Oh, his mum's house, I see on re-reading - but for how long during a typical week?
Average week he's at his mums I'd say at least 3-4 hours every 2nd day. Most weeks he stays at least once. He stayed last night. The rest of the time he seems to spend playing on theNintendo DS (which he thinks I don't notice) or playing games on his phone. He takes the boys for a walk in the hills about once a week. And makes about 800 cups of tea a day.
I really miss him.
I miss who we used to be, but he doesn't get that.
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