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Unhappy in my marriage, but do I just need to grow up?!(27 Posts)
I split from my husband around a year ago when our DS was a year old. Both v unhappy, both became v nasty to one another. He moved out, we both saw other people & tried to move on.
I was quite happy in my new relationship. He treated me so well, which I hadn't had from my husband for years...but I also had nagging worries about whether I would be happier in the long term with the new guy.
Then my husband (still not divorced, but living apart for over a year by now) tells me he still loves me, misses me, is v sorry & wants to make amends and try & make a go of things.
And my life has been turned upside down. I have put the new relationship on hold to try & decide what to do.
I am now just very unhappy.
I feel in a state of limbo, with this enormous decision to make alone, and so many things in my head - regrets I may have if I don't get back with husband, sadness about the new relationship ending and what I may be passing up here, even though it was't perfect.
I guess I just wonder, is it unrealistic to expect perfect?? Part of me feels like I just need to grow up and work harder and being happier in myself and happier with my husband.
My husband is not a bad man. He is a great dad.
I cannot imagine life without him being there for me and I feel so massively guilty about him missing out on our DS living with him if I don't get back with him.
But maybe I just need to be brave.
So unhappy with this decision. I was doing so well on my own after we split and now I feel back to square 1.
Thanks all x
You said yourself you were both very unhappy and nasty to each other. Why would you want to go back to that? Definitely not healthy for DS.
Tbh it sounds like you need to be alone for a while.
this is the guy that calls you a "fucking bitch", right ?
and you were also seeking anger management classes on his behalf recently ?
no, he isn't a good father and no, you should not go back to him
What I got from your OP was that your ex-husband has said he loves you and now you are really very unhappy.
Putting aside your new relationship, it doesn't sound like the prospect of returning to your ex is filling you with joy. More anxiety and heavy-heartedness.
Would it be fair to say you'd feel a degree of relief if your ex turned around now and said "actually, no, I was having a wobble there but I know it wasn't working and we aren't meant to be. I wish you well etc."?
If he is nasty to you in front of your son, that's not good behaviour modelling. You did the right thing by splitting up. It is part of grieving to look back sometimes. Remember why you left. You can maybe work at being friendly co-parents.
Ur little boy is too young to remember you together. It's much much harder to separate once they get older (I speak from experience). You really wouldn't have split up if you had been happy. People generally can't change. Not their personality anyway. So all the things he used to do which forced you to leave him will still be there. I don't think you are ready for a new relationship as you haven't dealt with the first one yet. Don't go back. Be alone and give yourself time to breath and think. Your husband will still want you in a year if he's serious. You have done the hard part by leaving, the ball is very much in your court. Ur ex will wait if he's now turned into the Saint he claims to be!! Good luck x
being happier in myself
I'd work on that.
Be happy in yourself and with yourself.
Stop looking for somebody else to make you happy.
Invest some work in to yourself, stay away from relationships, work on a good relationship with your DS's father, but live on your own for a while.
Aiming for 'perfection' just sets you up for disappointment.
I would respond but AF already said it to be honest.
AF - yes, you have a good memory. It's me. And you are wrong, he is a good father. He behaved badly, he called stuff he should;t have called me. He knows this, has admitted it, has apologised. I don't feel it alone means the end of a marriage. But that is subjective, you may disagree.
He has told me - very tearfully, and I genuinely feel it is heartfelt, I know him well - that he is terribly sorry for what he has done and his behaviour etc. He knows it's unacceptable. he is willing to try and improve things. Very willing.
My worry is that the dynamic of 'us' (and by that I mean as much me as him, and to be honest - although I am feeling v down at the moment so maybe being too hard on myself - possibly more me than him) just wasn't working well and wouldn't change in the long term.
But then I feel like marriage counselling must at least have a chance of working and maybe we sd persevere.
But the ongoing limbo is making me very down, and him also.
It just feels so sad to not keep trying, to admit it is over. I don't know why but I just don't feel ready to do that.
It feels like it would be the end of such a huge chapter in my life, with some of the good bits I think being very difficult to ever recapture.
I also feel like such a bad person that I didn't bloody figure this out before we got married and had our DS. What a bloody mess. And so bloody selfish of me now to say I don't want the relationship when it has such massive implications for both DS and my husband - the latter will not live with his son, because of my decision.
It just feels so sad to not keep trying What trying has he done.
So he has cried and said he knows he was wrong.
But what has he actually done about it? Has he got himself into therapy? Stuck with it for a good long while? Demonstrated that he can cope with his "triggers" without taking it out on you?
Has he actually done anything to deal with his issues, other than crying about it to you, as soon as you find a little bit of happiness elsewhere?
did he access any anger management for himself ?
nappyrat, it is part of the cycle of abuse for abusers to promise to change. They may well be convinced themselves that they will actually do.
The guilt is counter productive.
Before you decide anything you might well need to reflect on this relationship.
Try to read 'co-dependent no more' from Melody Beatty. That might answer a few questions. Best of luck
Sorry, but using the phrase 'abuser' just alienates me. He is not that.
He is a good man (very moral, principled, does the right thing when it comes to the big issues in life) but just lost respect for me over time, probably due to me being needy, clingy, lacking confidence etc.
I think the end of the relationship says more about me than him. He is secure in himself, successful.
I am insecure, find sustaining relationships and jobs hard. Basically I feel total failure.
Oh look at me wallowing!
But I am a great mum. :-)
I have told him I am not sure enough I want to be back with him to get back together, and he has gently suggested we look at divorcing in that case.
We are being kind to each other. But it is so so sad.
I just think that this might be the big regret of my life at some point.
I secretly think i will go off, experience a little more of the world, see that what I had was, on balance, pretty good. And hope he'll have me back.
God I wish there was a psychologist out there who could understand me.
I feel like I am crazy.
What did you learn about relationships when growing up?. What sort of an example did your own parents show you?.
How would you describe him if you refuse to call him abusive (which he is and has been throughout?).
Why do you think his behaviour is all your fault?. Why are you seemingly still so responsible for him?.
So long as you are with this person at all you will feel the ways you do.
Read up on co-dependency and see how much of those behaviours relate to your own self. I think you are codependent in the extreme as well as being in absolute denial because the truth is too painful for you to actually contemplate.
Reading Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie could well help you.
yes it's unrealistic to expect perfect but I do get the feeling you are now looking back on your relationship through rose tinted glasses.
If you got back there may be a time of being very happy (because you are so desperate for it to work) but in the end, old traits etc will come out. He called you a f**king bitch?! Charming, the mother of his child. Your husband didn't treat you well 'for years' (your own words), the chances are things will revert back to this (unless he has taken serious action on his part to change. It's all very well -being' willing but what has he actually done to address hi issues?)
I think the fact you are asking on here and seem full of so many doubts should tell you something too.
What advice would you give if it was someone else?
In my hat he is principled and moral. He wasn't principled and moral when he called you a fucking bitch in front of your child, was he?
Do you mean he is principled and moral outside the home? That he is able to present a sunny, confident face to the world, to do the right thing, then to come home and act like a total shit in front of his loved ones? Because that doesn't make it ok.
Look, you've reacted to the word 'abuser' so I won't repeat it. So here's another point of view: sometimes combinations of people just don't work very well. There's something in your relationship that made you feel clingy, insecure, etc. What do you think that was? How do you think that can be fixed? Or is it simply that this relationship isn't right for you?
Did you feel needy, clingy, lacking confidence in your other relationship?
Because if not, I respectfully suggest it was your husband who made you feel that way. It's not your default.
Plenty of adults might swear like troopers or have, shall we say, a robust vocabulary but they're not calling their loved ones a fucking bitch and they manage to control their temper at home.
I don't know whether you need to 'grow up' as such but it's reasonable to say, I don't want to be with him because of his attitude, temper and language directed at me, but especially in front of our child.
Has he stayed in contact with DS since you separated? If the two of you don't get along, he can still be a part of your DS's life.
Perhaps he laughed the first time you objected and used a word like abuse? Is that why you're asking if you ought to 'grow up'? Before having the baby you may have felt able to give as good as you got. For some couples the crackling tension and volatility is an aphrodisiac. I don't know if the cracks first appeared when you had DS but if you felt having a baby meant you no longer wanted to deal with his style of communication, you were within your rights to say so.
Missing someone is one thing, missing just the good parts of his personality is another. For a year away from him by the sound of it, you were happier in your self, doing better than just treading water.
You were happy then your ex suggested you should get back together and now you are sad. You are sad because you are making your life about what your ex wants. Ask yourself why he is suggesting this now - (1) its because you seemed happy (2) you were building a life without him (3) you have a new partner.
You don't have a 'big decision' to make on your own. Your life is exactly the same as it was before your ex tried to force a decision/crossroads on you.
Walk away from your ex and the fantasies he's selling you. Book some counselling for yourself to help you stay strong and to see why you have such poor boundaries. I have been where you are. I went back. Biggest mistake I ever made. Then I invested in some counselling. Best decision I ever made.
"I think the end of the relationship says more about me than him. He is secure in himself, successful.
I am insecure, find sustaining relationships and jobs hard. Basically I feel total failure."
I think this says everything about how he makes you feel and it isn't going to get better being together. You need to recognise your strength and build your self-esteem, not go back to square one. It is sad, but that will pass and you'll move on and be happier. That won't happen if you go back. You know that.
You have this man who called you a "fucking bitch" on some sort of pedestal
A mindset like that doesn't come from nowhere. Where do you think it might come from, op and why would you think this behaviour is good role modelling for your dc ?
I once seen a film when I was younger where the psychologist said 'there is no such thing as a hard decision, it's just hard to follow through on something you know is the right decision but you don't want to do it.' There's times in my life where I've struggled to make a decision and it's usually when I know I should do something that I don't want to do. I think this is the position you're in OP. You know that long term it's not in your best interest to get back together with your ex-husband but it's comfortable and familiar and you want your child to come from a home with two parents (don't we all but this doesn't guarantee happiness). The person you're with should bring out the best in you and your confidence should increase from being with someone who adores you. I'm sorry but from the personal bashing you're giving yourself above that doesn't sound the case. If you get back together, then realise it's a mistake, you'll feel even more guilty for putting your child through a separation twice. You might even stay in an unhappy relationship for that reason and your child will grow up seeing how unhappy you are a which will in turn make them unhappy. Trust your instincts. You separated for good reasons. You were content after separating. This new relationship may not be the guy for you long term but that doesn't mean your ex-husband is either. And please don't be so harsh on yourself. You sound like a kind and considerate person. X
Your OP says he hadn't been nice to you for YEARS! That doesn't sound like someone it'd be fun to return to. And he has "anger management issues"? Did these issues affect his work, wider family, friendships, or did he just choose to treat you badly?
Do you REALLY think you treated each other equaly badly? Really? How about over the course of the relationship?
Don't beat yourself up for decisions you made pre-DC. You got out of what had become a crappy relationship which was good for you and your DS, seems a pretty good decision.
He can still easily continue to be a good father without being in a relationship with you. He could have DS for part of the time.
Wonder if he genuinely would be able to treat you better if you got back together, or whether old habits die hard. My bet is on the latter.
As for the new man, why worry about the future too much, if you enjoy the relationship now? Although it sounds like you might set too much store by being in a relationship.
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