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Not sure how much longer I can stand dh.(19 Posts)
Feel very torn about what to do. Have posted several times in the past; marriage has been pretty strained at times, we've had several different lots of counseling over the years, and I made the decision to stick together to provide a stable family for the DC. (Dh has refused to leave, in the past, and simply says "where there's a will there's a way" whenever I've tried to get him to face facts.). I suspect he is way up on the aspergers spectrum, can't empathise with other people, has to stick to tight routines etc. He's not a bad person, and generally a good dad, but he is incredibly hard to live with and its getting worse. We certainly don't make each other happy, and I'm a bit fed up with the bickering and snidy comments (both of us.) When I decided to hang on in there, I thought it best for the DC to have mum and dad at home, holidays, Christmas etc together. I thought it would be very traumatic for them if I 'forced' a separation (as he sees no need for it). However, as Ds1 is older, 14, he is beginning to find DH as difficult as I do. Dh causes a lot of stress in the house, but cannot see it, blaming me, as I'm so "negative and unreasonable. ". Cards on the table; I don't love him, haven't for several years. However, ds1 was critically ill a few years ago, and the whole family have been through such a lot. We still have endless trips to GT ormond St. I don't want to cause more unhappiness for the boys, and maybe this is just post Christmas marital strain. But I'm not sure what to do. I want to protect the boys and have a happy family life, but dh and I just don't get on; if only he would admit it! I can't face moving out of our home with the dc, dog etc, but I know damn well dh won't go.
Here are examples of why I'm fed up: a few weeks ago, Ds1 and I were in our local hospital for 7 hours as he had to have a ct scan, and wait for his consultants at Gosh to check the images. He wasnt allowed to eat or drink in case there was a small bleed/need for surgery. It was fine and we got home 11 pm, tired and hungry. Dh was asleep in bed, all lights off. Didn't stir when we came in. (Admittedly he knew scan was OK as I'd texted). The next morning I walked the dog at 6 am, did the kids packed lunches... Dh called out from the sofa "did you remember to get a birthday card for x yesterday?". Followed by " darling, there's something wrong with the TV, could you have a look? " naturally I wanted to scream fuck off. But he really doesn't get what's wrong with that behaviour, which is what I mean by the aspergers. On Christmas eve I was rushing around, so he decided to help. By cutting the grass. Because that's his default setting for "helping.". He isn't a bad it unkind person, but he's a friggin nightmare to live with and I'm struggling to see how much longer I can.
You need to think about the impact this atmosphere is having on the DC. They are growing up watching this relationship, forming their views on what is normal based on their parent's relationship.
It doesn't matter if your DH admits there is a problem, not many relationship breakups happen with 2 people in agreement. If you are not happy then call it a day. I know I make it sound easy but believe me I know it is not.
I split from my STBXH a year ago today. He refused to leave for 3 months & has been difficult even step of they way BUT it was the best thing I have ever done. My DC are happy, we no longer live under his cloud, stepping on eggshells & it is wonderful.
I know there seem to be lots of obstacles in the way but make a plan & then make your move.
I'm pretty sure I'd be a lot happier without him, and a fair amount of stress would be saved. I'm aware that the dc know we don't get on that well, but we do operate well as a family; dog walks in the forest, Friday nights with all of us on sofa watching TV together, fun holidays etc. But this doesn't get away from the frequent bickering/tension. DS 1 is quite a challenging teenager, partly due to what he's been through, bit I think he'd understand if we separated as DH winds him up too. It's more Ds2 I worry about: a delightful, happy lad who has already had to go through so much with his brother in and out of hospital. I think he'd be devastated.
DS2 won't be oblivious to what is going on, children are very astute, more than we give them credit for. He may be a happy lad now but as he gets older he will become more frustrated by his DF. And your unhappiness will affect them too.
And let's not forget that you deserve to be happy as well. There is nothing wrong with wanting happiness for yourself, it doesn't make you selfish.
It took me a year to accept that I needed to make a change. I had accepted my lot and changing my mindset took a long time. Just think how much happier you could all be this time next year.
What do you get out of this relationship now?. What is really keeping you here within this at all?.
This is not post Christmas marital strain at all; these problems have been there for far longer than that.
What was the end result of all those counselling sessions?.
If the love for him is no longer there then it is better to part. Your children are also growing up seeing this model of a relationship, is this really what you want to teach them about relationships?. Is this really a stable family unit you are providing and showing to your children - no it is not. They see a selfish father and a put upon mother; those are the lessons you are both showing them. One day they will leave home (probably sooner rather than later given the crap atmosphere at home too), what then for you and he if you are still together then?. You're currently showing them that a loveless marriage could be their normal too. Of course he does not see any need to separate; he is as happy as a clam but you're all suffering as a result of his innate selfishness for whatever reasons. You've carried the can for this family unit throughout, he has not done so.
Staying together for the sake of the children rarely if ever works out well and your children are perceptive; they pick up on all the bad vibes in your marriage and know that things between you and their dad are not good and have not been for some considerable time. It is not at all easy to leave but staying within this at all will emotionally destroy you and by turn your children as well. They won't say "thanks mum" for staying with him, they could well turn around to you and state that you put him before them.
I would seek legal advice and find out what your options are re the property, children and finances. Knowledge after all is power. He is also not at all above the law and he may well have to leave the marital home anyway.
I know that I'd be happier and less stressed (I'm a completely different person at work. Confident, cheerful, full of fun. At home I'm a miserable cow much of the time). But DH would be devastated as he loves his family, and I think DS2 would be very upset. If only dh would move out for a bit, to give us some breathing space, but I know he won't, and any attempt at separation would be nasty.
Tbh, meerkat, the counselor seemed quite taken aback by how DH saw things. The endless repetition of "where there's a will there's a way" like a mantra. And he did try to improve his emotional intelligence. But it all seems a long time ago and I haven't got the energy to start that again.
He loves his own self more than his family; he seems to have put himself first and foremost now within this family unit of yours for some years now.
Words are cheap OP; his words particularly so. Such men never change
How was it the counsellor was pretty much taken aback by your DH?. What did he do and say?.
What sort of an example did your DHs parents show him when he was growing up?. This mantra he has seems to be all so very important to him; he uses it also as a crutch (to get you also to put up and shut up).
You did not answer the question what do you get out of this relationship now so I presume from that you cannot answer it. What does that tell you about you and your needs in this marriage?.
Would you want your children to replicate your marriage model as well?. You're simply showing them that currently at least, this is acceptable to you on some level.
You really do yourself and your children no favours at all by staying within a loveless marriage. Doing that for them and not for you is a further disservice to them as well, it teaches them that your whole marriage was based on a lie. You cannot afford to stay in this simply because you fear your youngest child will be upset; these children are upset by what they are seeing at home anyway. They are seeing this at first hand and its not at all pretty.
Your children would be better off in a home that is free from the underlying tensions between their dad and you. They cannot and should not be the glue or used as the glue that now binds you and your H together.
"and any attempt at separation would be nasty".
I don't doubt for one second he would be anything other than spiteful towards you on separation and even when you are separated actually. He could still try and mess you about with contact arrangements.
He would only hurt his own self in the end by doing that. If he did get nasty as well that is not the actions of a loving father to his children now either is it?. He is probably not all that interested in these children either, only in getting his own needs met and at your expense to boot.
Many bullying men use such power and control tactics as punishment towards their spouse for actually having the gall to leave their man. It also makes me think that perhaps he behaves like this because he can be and importantly this works for him.
Many bullying men do get nasty on separation but no man is above the law and that is not reason enough not to seek legal advice now either.
Thanks for your thoughts. What do I get out of this: a, family who have lots of good times together. We are a lovely family. Unfortunately, DH drives me insane. He's not particularly controlling or bullying; he's set in his ways, selfish at times, and unable to think how other people feel (, this is apparent in his work, too, with me frequently having to tell him how to handle situations). He's not nasty, loves our family, and I feel quite sorry for him. He has tried to change his behaviour over the years. But he absolutely does my head in and I'm tired of pointing out where he's going wrong.
Sounds like you are a 'lovely family', but only on the condition that you totally abnegate or suppress any of your needs and desires. As long as you don't stick your head above the parapet, then everything's fine. All great, unless of course you don't like being a non-person. I think it sounds shit, in fact. You are a human being and you deserve more than this. Plus, your dcs deserve to see a human relationship better than this one, or they'll be expecting their future partners to adore their utter selfishness.
You need your own life away from this man OP, otherwise what's it all about? Your life matters. Think about what you want.
There are lots of us here on MN with these issues. We also use this site, and I'd recommend it:
Twgtf, I looked at that website. I can't believe I haven't found it before; have joined and am awaiting activation. Not sure it'll make me like dh any more than I do, but a great support forum. Thank you.
It's very new, Minx; it was started by a MNer (not me). Lots of us are on there as well as on here.
No, it may not make you like him more, but at least you won't feel so alone. And you will be believed.
That's so good to know. The number of times over the years I've told myself it's down to me to be more tolerant, more accepting. I'm aware that people around me find him very hard work, and I end up defending him all the time, when in actual fact he is being a 'tosser' as Ds1 now puts it. Feel very sorry for our dc as the bickering and lack of warmth must affect them, yet at other times we're a lovely family. Can't wait to be activated on that website, thank you so much.
Oh yes, we've all done that, tried to be more tolerant and more accepting. I'm still trying - more fool me.
And defending him to other people - it does your head in.
This could have been me 10 years in did everything is could to get him to go. I made him get male freind he could stay at one night a week . When youngest son was 18 and one week he move to friends as a lodger . Took 4 years to get the divorce though.
I stay because I no where to go. And I did trust ex and his famliy around my also sick eldest and youngest son . Ex and kids have ASD.
My ex stood up in court and said both kids are not disabled had DLA for both.
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