Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I'm turning into one of THOSE posters...(869 Posts)
...with multiple threads asking for advice about the same situation.
I'm trying to decide whether to end my marriage. I'm not looking for different advice from previous threads, but two of my other threads had to be deleted because DH found them, and the other is now quite long and things have moved on a bit - so I thought it might be better to start a new thread.
In summary, DH and I have been together for 10 years, married for 4 years and have 3 DCs.
There have been three issues in our marriage.
1. Right from the early days of our relationship, DH has been low-level EA. The kind of 'death by a thousand cuts' EA that sounds petty on paper but grinds your love to dust. This is the issue that brought us to counselling in the first place. DH is adamant that he wasn't deliberately abusive, just thoughtless and entitled and self-centred.
Since we started counselling, two more issues have emerged, each much more damaging (in my opinion) than the first.
2. Financial abuse. (I'm the poster whose DH spent £16k on counselling and lied to me about it.) I just didn't see it - in fact, DH had me convinced that I was crap with money. I'm still kicking myself that I was so blind.
3. DH's lies. He has lied about small things, and (at least) two enormous things (that I know of). I think lying is his default setting whenever it's more convenient than telling the truth.
Of these, 2 is largely resolved going forward. I have separated my finances from his, and although I still don't have access to our historic savings DH has offered to add me to all of his accounts.
1 is tricky. DH has been treating me well for 3 months now. I'd be interested to hear whether people think this is a new, improved DH - or just the old one on best behaviour, in which case he's likely to revert to type when he starts to relax.
But 3 is the big one for me. I don't know that I can get passed it.
There is one event which I'm particularly struggling with. It happened in 2007, and DH has lied and lied and lied to me about it. He was even still lying about it after counselling started. He has now given me 4 different versions of what happened, each one painting him in steadily worse light. The last version, which only came out last week because our counsellor forced the position, involved him covering up behaviour at work which was gross misconduct at best, and possibly criminal.
DH says that it all happened more than 8 years ago, and that living through the consequences of his 2007 behaviour has fundamentally changed him as a person.
But from my perspective, it's not 8 years old, it's all new to me. And it's not just the event from 8 years ago, it's the lies he's been telling me ever since. And I'm not at all convinced that he has changed as a person - given the ongoing lies, big and small.
I don't trust him. I still don't know if I've got to the truth about what happened in 2007. I don't know if there are other things still to discover.
If I'd known the truth 8 years ago, I would have left him. I'm very clear about that. But we didn't have DCs 8 years ago, and now we do (DC1 was conceived in the immediate aftermath).
I'm also very clear that I would not be with him now were it not for the DCs.
Am I being unreasonable to end my marriage over something that happened 8 years ago? Will my DCs hate me for splitting up their home?
I just want to do what's for the best, primarily for the DCs but also for myself.
Only you can make the decision re. Your marriage. You have to live with the outcome whether you stay in your marriage or decide it's over. Not us.
I'll ask you one question. What does your gut instinct say deep down? Seriously? Because that is what you should be listening to.
Am I being unreasonable to end my marriage over something that happened 8 years ago? Will my DCs hate me for splitting up their home?
Is that really how you see the situation?
I'm also very clear that I would not be with him now were it not for the DCs
Says it all. You children will not thank you for staying fro Them
My gut instinct is that our relationship is dead. I can't bear him touching me. I don't even like him very much, let alone love him.
But my gut instinct is also that the DCs will be damaged if we split. And that I will end up alone and desperately lonely. I'm 40, too old to start another relationship, even if someone wanted me.
I think I remember you. Did you defend him over a work situation where you put yourself on the line because you completely trusted what he told you?
A lot of damage has been done but I find it's hard to see clearly and make good decisions whilst still in the middle of the situation. Can you have a separation and see how you feel in six months? It's so hard to make life altering decisions when you have dc, so for me I'd have to get some distance just to be sure.
Yes, Indiechick, that's me.
I'd love a trial separation. I can't breath at home. I have to avoid DH as much as possible for my own sanity - I go for naps just to get away from him and his whipped puppy face.
Overnow that's rubbish about a new relationship etc....
You should be removing yourself from this one and rebuilding your life. Your children will be fine from my experience its all the bit in the middle that does the damage, the hand wringing, arguing and going over old ground.....
Life is not supposed to be this fraught all the time....
Sweetheart, you can't be happy living like this, feeling like this. Your children deserve a happy mum. Spending the rest of your life single
but happy and safe sounds like a good alternative to this purgatory.
Staying together for the children rarely if ever is a good idea.
You are 40, that is not old at all. You just think you are too old to start another relationship but you are so, so wrong here. He has probably taught you that you cannot possibly survive without him.
In your case I would suggest you enrol on Womens Aid Freedom Programme and through counselling unlearn all the damaging crap you have learnt about relationships along the way. Loving your own self for a change would also be an excellent idea because you clearly do not.
Your children will be far more emotionally damaged if you were as parents to stay together. You would also play your part as well as he in teaching them that your relationship was a lie; that a loveless marriage with abuse for them could also be their norm too.
Is that what you want for them?. What do you want them to remember about their childhoods?. Some legacy that is being left for them to date. Your children will not thank you if you were to remain within this for your own reasons, infact they would be within their rights to turn their back on the two of you when they are adults themselves with particular scorn being reserved for you as their mother. They could well accuse you of putting him before them.
"*I'm also very clear that I would not be with him now were it not for the DCs.*"
Kids adjust to divorces. As said above, they can also pick up patterns and tensions from terrible marriages.
Show them they don't have to put up with shitty behaviour, and if he's a habitual liar, watch out for him lying to them and making them unsure of what is and isn't true.
You can be the rock they need, even if it makes you "unpopular" in the short run.
I cross-posted with you. You don't love him, or like him. That's all you need to know. You're really not old at 40, but you probably feel ancient from carrying all this stress and unhappiness.
You're going to have to end the marriage now. The kids are in an unhealthy environment. You can give them a healthy new happy home. It will become the new normal.
I'm perplexed really as to how this is any kind of conundrum.
You're wondering if you should stay with an emotionally abusive compulsive liar?
Why would you ever want a man like that to be around your children on a daily basis? What are they going to learn from him? His influence is far, far more damaging than a parental split, and it's not you who would be breaking up the relationship but him. How can anyone stay with a man so unscrupulous borderline criminal?
You've already lost respect at work for trusting him and yet you want to carry on trusting him? Why compound a terrible misjudgement of the past by continuing it?
As to the concern you won't find another relationship, that's absurd. There are 1000s of people who meet in their 40s. 40% of marriages fail and many go onto remarry. It's so irrational that I think it's just fear of the unknown talking.
You stay in this relationship you damage your children, that's the bottom line.
It's not unreasonable to end your marriage because you can't trust someone who is still drip feeding the truth about the issue 8 years ago.
It's not unreasonable to end your marriage because you have to avoid your husband for your sanity.
It was totally unreasonable of your H to stalk you to MN.
It would be unreasonable to stay and model this as a satisfactory relationship for your DC.
You wouldn't be ending your marriage over something that ended 8 years ago, though. You'd be ending it because, despite him having eight years to get his act together, he still can't treat you with respect. Lying and lying and lying like that is not the behaviour of someone who has fundamentally changed as a person - or, at least, it's the behaviour of someone who feels he's done all the changing he needs to do, and telling the truth to you isn't included.
I remember reading your thread about the £16k counselling incredulous.
Add to that the lying, the emotional abuse and the fact you don't want him near you, it sounds dead in the water.
I wouldn't worry about a future relationship for some time. Sort this one out first.
I'm perplexed really as to how this is any kind of conundrum. You're wondering if you should stay with an emotionally abusive compulsive liar?
I agree with this.
I thought you said at the end of your last thread that you were seeing this man more clearly? I have seen threads here by posters who think they will get different advice on different threads. Please don't be one of them. For as long as the situation is the same on each thread though, you are unlikely to get advice that is any different.
You are also looking for reassurance about your children. Strangers cannot give you this reassurance, they can only help you on the basis of their experience. And the experience of many women who have walked out of unhappy marriages is that children adjust to new situations. On the other hand, the experience of many people who grew up in unhappy homes is that it is better to move between homes than live with parents who do not like, let alone love each other.
It is up to you, you just have to make a choice and have the courage to live with it, whichever choice you make.
I'm sorry, I do know that it must be frustrating.
I'm not looking for different advice from different threads - I've been completely consistent with how I've presented the facts and my feelings about them, TBF.
OP you're pretty much getting the same responses on your threads, what does that tell you? You are being consistent in telling the facts, and mn is being pretty consistent in responses.
You sound as though you've made a decision in terms of working out that you don't love (or even like) him much any more.
I think it's far more damaging for children to witness a long-term unhappy marriage in which neither party contributes positively than to have Mum and Dad separate. We have friends who have remained together during infidelity, arguments and blind hatred. They're still together, and now have two DCs. Their kids are miserable as sin and the older one (8) comes to stay with us regularly and knows full well that Mummy and Daddy despise one another. It's no way for children to live.
I think if you really wanted to stay you wouldn't be considering separating.
And no, it doesn't matter that an event from 8 years ago is your 'straw that broke the camels back'.
You remind me of those people caught in a hostage situation when given the chance to run they stand there rooted to the spot.
I have been following your threads OP, and knew it was going to be you before you mentioned the £16k.
You are the frog that is slowly boiled up, rather than leaping into the hot water.
Any kid that says it would have been better for their parent to stay in an abusive relationship has obviously been severely damaged by that relationship to think that in the first place.
All you are doing is letting your kids be taught that being in an abusive relationship is the norm.
And about you being over the hill at 40; please! Don't insult every woman over 40 - your ability to have a relationship ends in the coffin, not at a random age that you have in your head.
What you have described is not marriage.
I think you keep posting because you know this relationship is doomed yet you need folk to tell you to make that final push and leave. I find it sad that you think this man is all you and your dc deserve. If you aren't happy dump him - there is nothing else to consider but that. You don't need one big reason - a million small ones is enough.
OP. Thank you for answering my question.
Your gut instinct says it all. How can you bear to stay married to someone you can't even have touch you? You don't need any of us to tell you it's ok to not be with someone who makes you feel that way.
My STBXH did things that make my skin crawl. The very thought of him even holding my hand makes me shudder. No option other than divorce. It's no walk in the park by any means. DC's miss their dad and are adjusting. But despite the shitty stress of the divorce, I'm happier than I have been in years. Approaching 40. Oh and I went for a drink with a guy last week who asked me out. Had a great evening.
Your life is far from over. Your DC's will adjust. They deserve a happy, smiling and laughing mummy, which is what mine are seeing more and more. You can do this, but only if you want to
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.