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how can i take a sabbatical from my husband without divorcing?

(27 Posts)
anythingcouldhappen Thu 19-Nov-15 17:38:28

I need some time apart from my husband before it goes totally toxic and we hate each other so much that we divorce. I don't want to divorce him. He just refuses to talk about the root causes of our unhappiness. The less he says the more I pick at him. I NEED to talk about how we got to where we are. I think the relationship can be saved but he really needs time out to think about it imho. Whilst I'm looking after the kids emotional and practical needs, doing the washing, shopping etc he doesn't give a shit. He finds someone (anyone) to go out drinking with.

He moved us all to a foreign country last year for his job and is carrying on as normal without accepting that its put a massive strain on the family. He thinks he can buy me a flash car and give me money for clothes and i should be happy. I can't work over here. I feel my independence ebbing away. I can't give in to accepting a financially secure situation at the cost of an honest intimate relationship. Am I stupid?

I need a break. But what would I tell the kids? Has anyone had a break and got back together or is the start of divorce proceedings?

RandomMess Thu 19-Nov-15 17:41:33

Why do you move back to your home country with the DC? Could that be an option?

Threefishys Thu 19-Nov-15 17:42:53

I have been in your position -.financially very but relationship not what it should be . I told exh I was taking six month break to think things through and get clarity (he fought it but accepted it everntually when I was resolute) I knew within two weeks I wouldn't go back before that it was just headspace to weigh everything up. Just do it and you'll know very quickly which way you want to go I think

anythingcouldhappen Thu 19-Nov-15 17:58:10

Random Mess - Not really an option. Firstly I have no money and secondly it would be too extreme, the kids wouldn't know what the f* was going on and I don't want to mess their lives up too much! I just want him to address the bloody issues instead of ignoring them.
Threefishys - Do you have kids? how did you tell them what was going on? Did you financially support yourself?
It's scary to think of being separated/divorced but I feel like i'm in limbo and because I'm in a foreign country with no support network and no possibility of working I feel trapped. Maybe I should just suck it up and carry on as normal. Oh it's too depressing though

OliviaBenson Thu 19-Nov-15 18:18:50

Think is, you can't make him change. Why do you think he suddenly will? I think you need to see about moving back and separating. Please don't use your kids as a reason not to break up the family.

OliviaBenson Thu 19-Nov-15 18:19:09

Thing is!

FantasticButtocks Thu 19-Nov-15 18:26:58

What about just saying to him I need a break. You won't discuss some issues I feel are important and it's doing my head in. I need some time away from you to think about whether anything can be done. In fact, you can use your own first sentence from your OP. Just because he won't communicate, doesn't mean you can't.

Threefishys Thu 19-Nov-15 18:27:57

Yes I have a DD who was 8 at the time. Exh paid for the rental of a property for 6 months then when that was up and I confirmed I wasn't going back we agreed to divorced formally. He bought me and DD a (modest) semi detached outright (he is a millionaire) and pays maintenance and I work to support DD too. I explained to DD at the time that nothing would change she would just have two houses because mum and dad were falling out being in the same house and that would stop when we had one each. It seemed age appropriate.

JCLNE Thu 19-Nov-15 18:49:48

What exactly do you want him to do? I don't mean "discuss" stuff, but actual, practical things he could do to make your life better?

Even if you can't get a job, is there something you could do to make a life for yourself? Is it because of childcare that you're stuck?

Maybe his reluctance to talk stems from the fact that he doesn't see what he could offer to help you. From where he sits, you just want to talk to criticise him and moan. I'd come up with a couple of tangible, doable suggestions so he has an opportunity to show he cares and is willing to compromise.

anythingcouldhappen Thu 19-Nov-15 19:49:35

JCLNE I agree, from where he sits he just gets me jabbing my finger and criticising. But I think i feel aggrieved that I have moved to another country (unwillingly) because he wanted to, it was a great career move for him, much more money, power etc. and he hasn't fulfilled his side of the bargain, which was to stop drinking.

Unfortunately the drink thing has been with us for the whole of our relationship and i hate it. Anyway what has happened since we moved here is I get wheeled out to fulfil various business dinners and engagements where I am totally charming and lovely and he gets brownie points. But when it comes to just us having a nice night in i get dumped sharpish.

An example: he comes home from work on a friday night, he's had a heavy week lots of shit going on, quite stressful. He's had a few beers after work already, carries on drinking at home with me after kids are in bed. Tells me all about work, I'm sympathetic, give him suggestions for how to deal with it, tells me he couldn't do this without me etc etc. Then he gets a text from some random work friend who is in a pub round the corner then says 'oh i'm going out, see ya'. He totally dumps me!! Like WTF? He does that all the time. At home in UK it was annoying but i got used to it. Over here its a slap in the face.

Sorry I'm just moaning now. But you know, I'm at the stage where I'm thinking 'OK mate if you think you get can someone better than me - go ahead!'

Jan45 Fri 20-Nov-15 14:05:10

He is selfish, it's all about him and his life, he doesn't have much consideration for yours, if I was you, I'd get out of there, maybe then he might realise you are an equal person.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 20-Nov-15 14:12:36

"But I think i feel aggrieved that I have moved to another country (unwillingly) because he wanted to, it was a great career move for him, much more money, power etc. and he hasn't fulfilled his side of the bargain, which was to stop drinking".

What is the longest period of time to your knowledge that he has gone without alcohol?.

He is never going to stop drinking, you cannot make him. Such bargaining with alcoholics as well is a complete waste of time.

This relationship is already toxic and will destroy you. Alcoholism is also a family disease; it does not just affect the drinker. You are playing out roles in this relationship which have worked for you (well until now anyway). You are his provoker and enabler in all this and also act out co-dependent patterns of behaviour.

I would move back to the UK and make the separation a permanent one.

RandomMess Fri 20-Nov-15 19:56:08

I don't understand, you say that you have money yet you can't afford to move out?

Scoobydoo8 Fri 20-Nov-15 21:27:22

You must be very lonely. It sounds like you are depending on him for companionship at the weekends but he is not supplying.

Can you get yourself a life - friends, interests, voluntary work where you are now. Surely you can get in paid help to run the home giving you time for your own interests.

I doubt he is going to change much and you need to get a life for yourself whether where you are or back home. Nagging or lecturing a drunk is utterly wasted time but if you make changes to the dynamic he might decide to change or you might get the courage to separate.

anythingcouldhappen Fri 20-Nov-15 21:28:07

Sorry - different time zone an' all.
Atilla - He's gone 6 months without, that's the longest time. Yes I agree its a family thing. His parents are also booze addled in my opinion. High functioning alcoholics. I hardly drink because i don't want to encourage him, but sometimes I like to get pissed out of my head and have a good time, I just have to suppress that in case it encourages him!!

RandomMess The money is his, he earns it. He never withholds money and he always says it his 'ours', but i don't see it as 'mine'. So Yes, if agreed we can afford to have 2 properties. The point is I don't want to divorce or permanently leave him, I just wondered if others had split up for a time and then sorted out their problems enough to get back together. Or am l living in dreamland??

HopeClearwater Fri 20-Nov-15 22:59:34

I think the problem is solely about his drinking. Six months without doesn't mean he is not an alcoholic. Plenty of people in AA have spent periods of years dry, only to relapse. At the moment he doesn't want to stop drinking, nor does he feel he needs to. Unless you change something, he won't see the need to change himself. Bargaining and pleading doesn't work with addicts. Nothing will change unless you make the changes yourself. If you want to spend the next 5, 10, 15 years nagging and begging far from home in an expat community, then just carry on doing what you're doing. If not, then it's time to seriously think about telling him it isn't working and then to GO HOME. Remember - don't make threats unless you are willing to carry them out.

anythingcouldhappen Fri 20-Nov-15 23:33:37

Scoobydoo8 - It is a little lonely but the funny thing is having not wanted to come here, I find myself in the position of being highly popular. I'm invited to lots of evenings out and events. I am involved with an arts charity, I work out during the day, I'm getting an MA at uni whilst I'm here. I'm busy! I'm psychologically getting ready to fly the coop....... but I suppose I don't want to give up on him totally. I like his company, we are a good match (in theory).

I honestly believe, the older I get, that childhood issues plague adulthood in the most insidious ways. And I think he has issues that he has never addressed and his family are really adept at covering over the cracks and never talking honestly (apart from when they've been drinking! Sigh......).

HopeClearwater - you are right, the problem is his drinking. It's always been the same but now he's in his 40's he takes longer to recover and he can't hide his hangovers like he used to. He's tired and grumpy for days after. It's so dull. He is addicted to it. When he stopped drinking he worked out excessively and completed a half iron man triathlon. So either way he wasn't spending time with me!! Oh dear..... what a prick he is (and i say that with sadness not anger).

Jan45 - yes he is selfish. Very. I've done exactly what he wanted me to do, I moved country, I settled the kids, I found us a house, i'm decorating the house, I've cultivated new friendships, I'm polite to his bosses. It's clearly not enough.

AnotherEmma Fri 20-Nov-15 23:43:20

Wow, you moved your children to another country for an alcoholic. I'm speechless.

AnotherEmma Fri 20-Nov-15 23:48:15

(Also, massive drip feed)

Baconyum Fri 20-Nov-15 23:49:48

Child of an alcoholic who went through periods of dryness due to my mother threatening to leave. There were other issues but frankly my advice is leave. IME (NOT just my father) they NEVER change. Not doing your kids any favours by staying.

antimatter Fri 20-Nov-15 23:57:12

A friend of mine separated from her dh for 18 months. They stiil used to live under the same roof with eheir teenages son and 2 step sons. Step sons were at uni though.
She says if she didn't do it thn she would hsve divorced him by now. That separation ended at least 5 years go andvthey are very happy ogether now.

I think she was very honest with her h that if tey don't work on their relationship and change it's balance she would move on.
She is and always was working full-time and has had busybsocial life.

In your case your dh would eed to take on many more responsibiliies like being at home for the kids on days when you are free off kids related duties etc.
Woud he keep his side of he agreement? You would need to be very strong and determined and mean it.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 21-Nov-15 01:43:22

He is an alcoholic. You seem to have trouble admitting that.

Why would you stay with an alcoholic? Why would you keep children living with an alcoholic?

TaintForTheLikesOfWe Sat 21-Nov-15 08:39:49

Meant kindly really need to 'see' the situation here OP.

RandomMess Sat 21-Nov-15 10:42:04

Honestly I think you tell him bluntly that either things change or you and the dc are leaving (which you can afford to do with the marital assets)

He is an alcoholic and he shows you no care whatsoever, in turn he doesn't care much for his dc does he?

It's over flowers

anythingcouldhappen Sat 21-Nov-15 21:13:37

Thanks for all of your comments. Yes I think it's over. Maybe we will be able to work it out like your friend antimatter. That sounds like a positive outcome.

We are going home to Uk at Xmas. it will be a perfect opportunity to spend time apart and then decide how to play it.

It's really sad.

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