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Things falling apart a bit

(87 Posts)
Ephelant Wed 05-Aug-15 12:12:35

I'm in desperate need of some advice. Last night my DP had an instant message conversation with a female friend and I read it, mainly because I know he talks very candidly with her in ways he won't so much with me and I am concerned for his mental health at the moment and for our relationship. I know I shouldn't have but I just can't get him to talk to me.
Anyway what I gleaned from it is that he tried to take an overdose of paracetamol without my ever knowing around the time our ds was born (3 years ago) because he couldn't face the idea of being with me forever. He said he feels 'distant from that memory now' but goes on to say he has trapped himself into caring for me (I have had health issues but not to that extent and have made big steps forward). He shared some very confidential stuff that I won't go into on here as well. Some lines had been deleted but I gather he made comments about my weight as I have put on probably a couple of stone unfortunately which he knows I'm trying hard to lose. I think he said he doesn't want to have sex because of my weight - based on her response, I don't know for sure though.

It just feels like there was just no love coming through in anything he said. I also gather that they have probably slept together at some point but that was before we got together (she is married). I think he has always idealised her and after reading this last night I just suddenly felt "oh. He really doesn't love me." we've had our issues but I did think he loved me, now I think he is staying mainly for our son. I don't want to confront him with what I've read because it would just get awful and I also want to keep things stable for ds, that is my absolute priority. I'm not even particularly angry about what I've read but just feel as if I'm seeing a new and rather sad reality about the two of us. I hope it can get better but not sure if that's realistic or what to do really.

Ephelant Wed 05-Aug-15 12:14:23

There were a couple of other less than great things in the conversation but those are the highlights.

happymummyone Wed 05-Aug-15 12:23:07

It must be really hurtful reading these thing s, especially as he isn't being adult enough to talk through problems with you. It is deeply inappropriate for him to be having hear conversations with this woman, especially as he seems to have nothing nice to say about you. It shows a huge lack of respect for the life you have together. Some will say you shouldn't have read the messages but I believe if you have suspicions, follow them up. I found my DDs father was having late night conversations with a co worker in a similar way, I was sure something was going on because he's stopped coming to bed, staying up til 4am, sleeping on the sofa, and I was sure the lack of intimacy was partly because of someone else. They were plotting to get together, him leave our family and her leave her BF. I saved him the trouble.

goddessofsmallthings Wed 05-Aug-15 12:28:09

The new and very sad reality about the two of you is that you are in a relationship and have dc with a man who has no concept of loyalty and sees no issue with disparaging you to one of his exes.

As for his "tried to take an overdose of paracetamol" at the time his ds was born, I suspect that didn't occur and was thrown in to gain her sympathy consisted of him looking at the bottle and failing when he 'tried' to take the top off.

It seems to me that there's nothing wrong with his mental health - what makes you think otherwise?

hellsbellsmelons Wed 05-Aug-15 12:29:18

I also want to keep things stable for ds, that is my absolute priority
Please don't make yours and your DH happiness the burden of a 3 year old.
That's not fair at all.
He doesn't love you.
From your response, you don't sound particularly keen either.
Please end this. Set him free and stop accepting a half life for yourself under the pretense that it's for 'your son'.
It's the easy option, that is all.
But do you want this for next 30+ years of your life?
I know I couldn't do it.

Joysmum Wed 05-Aug-15 12:36:09

I'd bite the bullet and open dialogue about it.

My opening line has generally been, "I can see you aren't happy, we clearly need to talk a few things through" because whilst I know how I feel, I can't always read my DH and need him to open up.

I certainly wouldn't join the inevitable LTB brigade until you've gone through the whole process.

You need to know you've reached the end of the line before you get to that for your own peace. People have come back from worse...but only if both people want to. That's what you need to find out flowers

Ephelant Wed 05-Aug-15 12:38:29

I absolutely don't want this for the next 30 years but I am genuinely very worried about the effect splitting could have on ds. From his point of view it's not like we are at each other's throats around him, we usually get on ok, we'll kiss and cuddle etc although not a huge amount, so he's at least experiencing being part of a family. I don't see our happiness as his responsibility at all, the other way around.
But if this is the state of things then maybe I need to start making plans and thinking about how to minimise the impact on ds. I just feel maybe I shouldn't give up so easily

goddessofsmallthings Wed 05-Aug-15 13:05:03

Providing both of you make it clear to your ds by words, deeds, and consistency, that he's your much loved dc, he won't lose out by not seeing his dps 'kiss and cuddle' and there's no reason to suppose that he will be adversely affected by dividing his time between 2 homes - if anything, he'll benefit from having more 'quality time' with each of his dps.

In seeking to allay your fears should you decide that the only way forward is to separate, I am in no way implying that your relationship can't be salvaged. However, if you conclude that it can't, please be aware that staying in this relationship for the sake of your dc is bound to negatively impact on him sooner or later as he will pick up on your unhappiness and may erroneously blame himself for it.

Myturnnow4 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:26:47

I'm so sorry to read of your experience. Something similar happened to me four weeks ago. I read similar, unkind, comments and confronted DP. He chose to leave (after 14 years) rather than talk or consider counselling.

If there's any way I can share what I have learned that you may find helpful, please ask.

Ephelant Wed 05-Aug-15 21:49:37

Myturn4now - thank you. I'm so sorry you are going through this atm.

Goddessofsmallthings - do you really think that ds would come through it so well if we split? I don't want to turn his world upside down, I can't imagine how confusing and sad it might be for him. He's only three though so I'm wondering if that could be a plus in one way as he will accept and not analyse what is happening provided it's presented in a reassuring way.

Joysmum, I know I probably should try to talk about it but I just feel so numb, it's like what is there I can say? "I read your conversation, you can stop pretending you're remotely happy or in love with me...now let's have a constructive discussion about this"
Just numb and sad now. And completely blank on what to do. If he feels this way, if he can't talk to me but can to her...what can I do to fix it? Is this something I can accept and move on from? Part of me thinks I should just treat it as some private ramblings and forget what I read.

To add more detail though...and this is awful...he wrote that when I was in hosp having ds he went outside and swallowed paracetamol after paracetamol because he couldn't face the idea of spending forever with me. While I was having our son! Or at some point in the week I was in there.
I just don't know what to do with that. Should I be angry or just sad for him? I must be at least partly responsible for him feeling like that.
Her response was "a day at a time, not forever. I get that".
I don't know if some lines were deleted, it was bitty in places.
God, it's just all looking so bleak right now

Ivegottogo Wed 05-Aug-15 22:00:45

That's hurtful. I couldn't be with someone who didn't want to be with me. I think it's time for a frank discussion about the relationship.

pocketsaviour Wed 05-Aug-15 22:02:14

he wrote that when I was in hosp having ds he went outside and swallowed paracetamol after paracetamol

...and then what happened? Like a PP, I find this claim very dubious. If you take more than a packet of paracetamol at once, you'll usually end up in hospital.

I'm wondering if "paracetamol after paracetamol" actually means he took two hmm

Also, pretty sure most people are aware that paracetamol poisoning is a pretty painful and shitty way to go out.

I must be at least partly responsible for him feeling like that.

Unless you've been regularly subjecting him to verbal, physical or emotional abuse, no, you're not.

If he is unhappy with you then it's his responsiblity to either fix the problem, or have the balls to say he's leaving.

He sounds incredibly passive-aggressive. Does he often expect you to read his mind, then sulk when you get it wrong? It's just reminding me of one of my exes.

pocketsaviour Wed 05-Aug-15 22:04:19

I'm also wondering why he would delete certain lines, but not others. Like he was expecting you to read the conversation anyway, but left in the parts where he said he would rather die than be trapped with you and a baby for life, and just deleted the ones that were directly insulting. Because his aim was for you to be crushed and hurt, not angry.

Maybe I'm way off base, I don't know.

Ephelant Wed 05-Aug-15 22:18:23

Pocketsaviour - I think he wrote that he took twelve. His hearing went funny and something else I can't remember.
I don't know, I don't think he meant for me to read any of it. He was just being careless maybe? But there was plenty of fuel for getting angry in what I read if I was going to go that way.
My stomach is in knots sad. Is it possible he was just having a bad day, letting off steam? He's had tonsillitis recently and bad headaches, he's stressed at work and I know I don't do enough, I do what I can but find things a struggle.
I wasn't abusive no but had issues for sure. I'm better now on some meds but I know I can be difficult. I just didn't realise the depths of his...I don't know, resentment/ unhappiness with me.

Ephelant Wed 05-Aug-15 22:31:33

Am I just being old fashioned thinking we should stay together for our son?
Do I try to talk to him about this? I'm thinking he will be massively sorry but also hold it against me for a long long time that I read his private conversation and that this therefore means that he can't have a friendship and I'm just taking away another bit of his freedom and happiness. Not that he would say that exactly but it would definitely be the vibe. People talk about working through things, I'm always reading and hearing about that but I honestly don't know how! I don't mean that flippantly - HOW do you "work through things"?
It doesn't help that he'd rather saw off his arm than have an emotionally charged conversation about something like this, he never really gets angry he just capitulates way beyond what I'm even asking, goes into complete shut down and doesn't let things go either. This is how I find out what he's really thinking, not for the first time either.

Joysmum Wed 05-Aug-15 22:54:05

Joysmum, I know I probably should try to talk about it but I just feel so numb, it's like what is there I can say? "I read your conversation, you can stop pretending you're remotely happy or in love with me...now let's have a constructive discussion about this"

I don't think you need to reveal you read his conversation. I do think you can open the conversation with something more general like "I can't shake the feeling that there's something wrong. Are you happy?" You can ask pertinent questions to give him the in to talk. As I sad in my first post, I feel it's vital to try to get him to talk to at least satisfy yourself you've ticked all boxes and exhausted all avenues before you leave, for your own peace of mind.

I really feel for you. I can't imagine how hurt and unsettled you must be feeling right now sad

AcrossthePond55 Wed 05-Aug-15 22:55:50

I don't mean to sound uncaring, but I think the younger a child is when the parents split, the better. They grow up with it as 'the norm' as it were.

No, I don't think it's better to stay together for the sake of the children. He's already shown enormous disrespect for you in the message and in his sharing personal information about you with another woman. It can only get worse from here. Soon his disrespect will become obvious in his treatment of you, and do you want your son to learn that's the way to treat women?

Please don't make excuses for him. My DH has 'bad days', 'headaches', and 'stress' and none of that would make him say such disrespectful and personal things to another woman. If he was feeling that bad about our marriage, he would talk to me about it, even if it were to say that he wanted a divorce. That's what an honourable man does. He doesn't go behind his wife's back and slag her off to a third party.

Ephelant Thu 06-Aug-15 02:55:37

Thank you joysmum and acrossthepond. This is really hard sad

AcrossthePond55 Thu 06-Aug-15 03:16:45

Yes, it is. But remember that YOU also deserve to be happy, and you can't be happy with a man you can't trust to have your back.

May I suggest that you see a counselor, even for a few sessions, to talk this out and help you decide what you want for your life? An uninvolved professional can listen and ask you the important questions, things you may not have thought about.

DorisDazzler Thu 06-Aug-15 04:33:12

I stayed for the sake of dcs, and it's something I massively regret. They gained nothing from living in a carefully constructed illusion and neither did I. I also think that it encourages children to accept similar unhealthy illusions when they are adults. Parents split up everyday and it doesn't destroy children's lives. A father who is disloyal , a liar and emotionally challenged isn't much of a loss at all.

I really don't believe half of what he has said to this woman , the paracetamol story sounds pathetic. It sounds like a victim puke. Does he normally play the victim and tell lies like this ? He's clearly trying to get sympathy from her. Keep in mind also that if he is having some sort of emotional affair with her , he will run you down like this.

I'm sorry he's said these things , that must have been incredibly painful to read.

Isetan Thu 06-Aug-15 05:46:10

The first conversation you need to be having is with yourself and you need to be honest. Your fear is paralysing you and your hiding behind 'Staying for the kids" so you can pretend that your H isn't checking or hasn't already checked out of, your relationship.

You can choose not to bring any of this up with him but the consequence of such a decision is living a half life, while you wait for him to leave at a more convenient time for himself or worse, he martyrs himself by staying.

This woman can't verify the validity of any of his statements bullshit and therefore represents a safe and convenient ego stroke, talking to you would leave his alternate reality open to challenge.

You and your son are worth more than this, your marriage may or may not last but don't leave the decision entirely in the hands of someone who isn't invested.

Myturnnow4 Thu 06-Aug-15 06:11:48

Right, maybe this is a load of nonsense, but I think it would have been a better way to play out my (similar) situation.
I'd say something similar to just suggested, tell him, "I can't quite put my finger on it, but I realise that our relationship isn't in a healthy place. I think we should spend some time apart". Then do that, arrange a 3 month living separately, however that would look if he actually left you.

Athrawes Thu 06-Aug-15 07:29:04

As a child of a couple who stayed together for the sake of the children/social expectations I knew that they were unhappy and WISHED for them to divorce. I just knew that they would be happier apart. You can make a life for yourself, set him free and jointly love your son. It doesn't have to be bitter but could get that way if you stay together and is a huge burden on your son for him to know it was all for him.

Ephelant Thu 06-Aug-15 08:25:50

Thank you for these replies. I feel stronger this morning. I don't know if I will keep feeling like this but at the moment it seems clear that he and I need to separate. He's saying loud and clear that he feels trapped which is massively unhealthy as a foundation for the three of us being a family. And I don't know how I could fully trust someone who shares things like this with another woman. One of you mentioned an emotional affair and I think that's true in a way even though they don't speak that often. I think he was in love with her when we met, they had had a very intense friendship which I know her husband was unhappy with, she moved away and then he and I became close. In all honesty I was the one who did most of the running in the beginning, he seemed to really like me at times and then he'd withdraw. It was never a simple relationship. I got pregnant with ds, unplanned, a year into it and that was that.

Myturnnow4 Thu 06-Aug-15 08:44:17

Just because it's not right for now, doesn't mean it was never the right relationship.

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