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Sad situation but no solution(28 Posts)
I don't really know why I'm writing, but there's nobody that I can talk to in RL and I'm so unhappy.
I'm in a totally dead relationship with the father of my DC's (6 and 2). He's not a dreadful person so it's not as simple as LTB. He has had issues with depression and can be very rude and controlling with me, but he's a wondeful father and our children love him v much. However I'm really miserable. We have no intimacy either physicaly or emotionally. I work full time and pay all the bills etc and do all the cooking and sorting out of childcare. He doesn't really work and I think that contributes to the problem, but he never says anything nice to me or seems to appreciate what I do. Sadly this has just led to a massive build up of resentment.
My problem is that he's from America and has told me that if we split up then he will move back there. Therefore if I leave him (which is what I would really like to do) then I take my kids father away from them. How can I do that? I feel like I can't and they'd resent me forever. So I'm stuck. Any advice or words of wisdom?
You wouldn't be taking the kids father away from them, he would be choosing to go back to America.
Him saying this states that you have obviously discussed a split at some point.
Have you sat him down and told him how you are feeling, and I mean a proper talk?
My husband left me recently and I thought although we had our problems he never said that he wanted to leave and was so miserable he never gave me a chance to really work things out.
Do you still love him?
Either way I think you need to talk to him lay the cards on the table so to speak.
Unhappy whether he moves back to America or not is 100% HIS choice, not yours. Don't let that guilt trip affect what you do. But before you do anything, have you guys sought marriage guidance?
I agree with Sweet. If you split up, he can choose to stay in the UK and be a father to his kids, or he can choose to leave.
His choice, not yours. Don't let him foist responsibility for his life onto you.
He's using the US as a threat. bully for him.
TBH, if you are the main worker in the relationship, your H would have some cause to request residency of the children and demand YOU pay maintenance... so if he DOES trundle back to the USA, it's not necessarily the worst scenario for you love...
Do not stay in an unhappy/dead marriage out of fear about what someone who hitherto does pretty much jack all MIGHT do.
You deserve chance of better than this, your children deserve to see a better relationship model than this.
Imagine how it will be when they leave home and it's just you and him? Imagine how you will REALLY hate him then?
Don't do that to yourself, or to the children, or to him. The marriage is dead, no drama, no angst, just face the truth and the future and walk towards it.
Thank you for replying - I really appreciate it and I hear what you say about it being HIS choice, although my worry is that my children woudn't see it that way.
We have discussed splitting but not in a sensible mature way. About a year ago I started to try and bring it up and suggested counselling but it was met with horrific anger and he pushed me (the only time he has ever been physically abusive) and so I'm slightly scared to bring it up again.
I think now I have detached myself so much that I don't think there is a way back even if he was prepared to try and change. I genuinely feel heartbroken, not because I still love him (don't think I do) but because I only ever wanted to give my DC's a happy home
You guys talk so much sense - thank you so much
Ah, OP. A happy home for the kids isn't one where the parents are miserable and one uses physical violence, sullking and threats against the other one.
He's emotionally blackmailing you. What a nasty, manipulative piece of shit.
DC: Why don't we see much of dad?
You: he decided to move back to America when we split up
DC: why did you split up?
You: he wasn't very kind to me
End of conversation
God, he sounds horrible. What do you think he'd do for work if you did separate? He would have to work in the States; there's not the option of not working.
It sounds an utterly miserable existence for you. In your position I'd end the relationship. If he loves the children as much as you say he does then he won't just stop seeing them.
If you do tell him, you need to make sure you're safe. The best way (in my opinion) would be to tell him while you're on holiday in the States, so he could just stay there. There are companies that you can use to send someone's bags overseas. If you tell him in this country, you should make sure you're not alone.
Er- extreme anger and pushing you is not a normal reaction to try and work out what to do together.
You either leave without telling him, because he will freak if you don't and it would be foolish to risk your personal safety " to give him a chance to work it out without violence" ie rent somewhere and move the kids and organise an aupair or something ( one that drives) or you sit down with him and talk.
Talk means either you talk about how to fix it together or talk about how to split. If he is the main carer he could end up with residency and you pay him. It depends on the age of your DC to some extent? are they at school?
Who owns the house, and what is he doing for money?who pays his mobile bill, buys his clothes etc? Who does all the housework etc? Organises the home life?
If he wants to go back to the U.S., let him. Its his choice. Just say " ok" and hide the passports for the DC somewhere outside the home. The kids won't resent you. In fact, having a happy home life without you two being unhappy in it might be preferable.
A wonderful father doesn't threaten to leave the country.
A wonderful father doesn't threaten their mother.
A wonderful father pulls his weight.
You already acknowledge hie isn't a great partner and we've now established he isn't a wonderful father, so how does pretending that help. It's time to dissect your fears and not let them imprison you in a piss poor relationship.
I have spent the past five years trying to get DD's dad to step up and when I finally stopped, he abandoned DD. What the last five years has taught me is that DD was never a priority, despite my Herculean efforts.
You are giving us mixed messages about this husband of yours. First you say he's not a dreadful person then you go on to say that he can very rude and controlling, makes you miserable, gives you no physical or emotional displays of love and so on. When you say he doesn't 'really work' do you mean he hasn't got a job or that he doesn't help with household chores? Either way he's a lazy git and is treating you like a slave. And in what way is he a 'wonderful father'? Do the kids love him because he spoils them and doesn't discipline them when it's needed?
I'm not bragging but in comparison to him I sound like a saint!
I'm retired but my wife still works so my attitude is that it's only fair that, for instance, when she comes home in the evening I have the meal ready. Also I deal with all the financial and secretarial tasks. I also do the stereotypical manly jobs like mowing the lawns, cleaning the windows, fixing things (I recently installed a new shower even though I'm not a plumber so saving us a lot of expense).
I have to say that our sex life is on hold for medical reasons but we both miss it and look forward to getting it back. However we have never stopped the kissing and cuddling and generally saying and showing our love for each other.
I'm sorry but you've allowed him to get away with too much and he doesn't appear to love you. Sorry to sound harsh but I guess you are very young (20's or 30's) and your post has kind of upset me.
We both own the house - he put most of the money in but I pay the mortgage. He pays his own mobile bill (he works a bit, but v irregularly) We'd definitely have to sell as he'd want his share back (and there is no way that I would be money grabbing).
He's not the main carer, I'd actually say that I am even though I work full time. I do shift work so I try and orchestrate it around their hours although it doesn't always work. I also try and 'protect' him from having to look after them too much as he tends to roll his eyes if it happens too much that I'm working. One is at school and the other is at nursery. As I type this I can see how ridiculous it sounds and how awful. In his defence, I really do believe he loves them and he's great at reading to them or playing outside. But I think deep down he's incredibly selfish and so can't see that real fatherhood means taking the rough as well. I think all of this has contributed over the years to me feeling very resentful and upset by it all.
God, I'm such a slow writer. there was only 1 reply when I started. I must speed up!
I don't mean to give mixed messages. I think that I feel very mixed about everything and maybe that's come across.
Maybe 'wonderful' father is too strong, but when he plays with them and their eyes light up - that's lovely.
I'm in my 30's - I don't feel very young!
But you're right, I probably have let him get away with too much.
You say he controls you and he doesn't work so is a cocklodger too? Yet you assume he is a good father. And he blackmails you into not dumping him by saying he will return to the USA. Honestly - just get rid. His relationship with your children is not your issue. But wondering why you have such low esteem that you are tolerating this most certainly is.
And a father doesn't 'look after' like it is a favour, he just does parenting. It isn't a chore.
Yes I know. Writing this stuff down has been very cathartic and helped me think a bit more clearly. I really do thank you all for your responses.
"I'm in my 30's - I don't feel very young!"
I'm more than twice your age and still feel young! I know it's trite but we only get one life. If you're not enjoying life then only you can change that.
So let me get that right.
You are the main earner in the family and he hardly works because ... of the depression?
He is threatening you with physical force, fear of going back to the US etc...
Despite the fact he isn't really working (enough to pay his mobile phone, so what? £20 a month?), he doesn't want to look after his dcs some of the time and gives you a hard time if he needs to be a father too often.
When and how is he actually a good father?
Do you mean that he is happy to play games and let them get away with murder
when he feels like it so of course the dcs enjoy it but ehrn is he parenting them?
When is he ensurinmg they have a roof over their head and food in their plates?
When is he helping you run the house?
Or is it that all of that is impossible 'because he is depressed'?
In which case the question is: is he getting treated for it and what sort of things is he doing to get better?
He's basically holding you prisoner by manipulating you and threatening you. You don't have to live this way.
He can't force you stay with him by pushing you around. He is not a wonderful father, he's a lazy bully who will be teaching his children how to be rude and nasty to people they're supposed to love.
He needs to go, for the sake of all of you.
Children can handle age appropriate truth, and it's important to be truthful with them.
Relationships are hard work sometimes, people change. sometimes people change together, sometimes they don't. the important thing in life is to to be happy, either together or apart, but work as 2 parents together.
You can give your DCs a happy home, and so can their father, but you don't have to be together to do this.
If you want your DC to have a happy life then you'll see to it that they do. Him choosing to go back to USA won't prevent them from being happy. His choice, if he makes it, not theirs. (FWIW a friend split with her US husband and he went home. She thought contact would cease but they actually go over once a year for a few weeks each summer, and they love staying with their dad and living a different lifestyle. It might be the making of him.)
Wow - that's such a nice thought that they could over for a few weeks and have some good time. I realise that I must come across as rather pathetic. I don't mean to, and actually being a strong role model for my children is very important to me.
I think I have got so tired and bogged down by the day to day running of life that I am only just really starting to look at things as they really are and acknowledging that my happiness/unhappiness is important.
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