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Marriage has ended because of our daughters death

(59 Posts)
cathpip Sun 03-Jan-16 07:59:41

Were do I start. H told me in Oct that he has found it very hard to love me over the last few months after I called him out on his distant behaviour with me.
20 months ago when ds2 was days old our 3 year old dd died very unexpectedly, since her death his grief has consumed him and he has been very negative towards me with comments like 'I clearly loved our dd more as I'm grieving more than you' I am grieving but I have to do it in private away from ds1 as he was 5 when this happened and he gets utterly distraught when he sees me cry. H thinks I have moved on, he thinks that we can't possibly be happy ever again.
In August I had ds3, I had the most horrid pregnancy and was nearly wheelchair bound with spd, h never lifted a finger to help with ds2 who was 17 months old when ds3 arrived by section, he admitted yesterday that ds3 was a band aid baby and that he had hoped for a girl.
H is very much a glass is half empty character, if there are 10 positives and 1 negative he will zone in on the negative and wallow openly. We have tried counselling and I felt things were going well, we were making plans for this year and then yesterday he tells me he doesn't love me anymore.
I asked him to leave and spelt it out in no uncertain terms what a selfish emotionally abusive arsehole he has been to me since dd's death, and what is now going to happen, divorce and house sale. he left in tears, physical sobbing begging to stay. He has had a breakdown and is suffering from severe depression but won't go to the drs for help, thing is I'm also suffering from the same but am on ads, I have allowed his behaviour because I and all our friends know this is not him and divorce would be the biggest mistake of his life but he just keeps on digging his hole deeper and shunning any help.
Thing is I am a sahm, have been for 5 years, no qualifications, he's a very high earner. I'm frightened, I don't know how I'm going to live, if I'm entitled to anything. H has destroyed our family unit, I told him that not only has he lost his dd he's now lost the rest of us.

Pipistrella Sun 03-Jan-16 08:12:58

You poor thing, I am so, so sorry for what has happened to your family.

It seems very clear that your husband is depressed and in need of some serious professional help. Of course he is not grieving more than you are. He is just handling it, or not, in a very different way.

It is good that you have told him what his behaviour has been doing to you.

I would not write off the marriage just yet. It's possible that if he accesses some treatment, he could begin to put his feelings into the right place and manage them far better. Unless he was abusive towards you before all this took place, then there is hope.

Do you think he would see his GP if the alternative is losing all of you?

TheWildRumpyPumpus Sun 03-Jan-16 08:13:12

I'm so sorry, both for your daughter's death and your troubles at the moment. I remember your threads at the time of your bereavement and her gorgeous smile flowers

What was your DH expecting when he told you that he no longer loves you yesterday? It doesn't sound like he thought there would be any consequences. He certainty can't treat you so terribly but hopefully this is the wake up call that he needed that he has to seek some help for his mental health problems.

It doesn't sound like you want this to be the end for your family IF he seeks some help. Fingers crossed he does. Has he gone to family or friends who will talk to him about it?

I am not an expert on benefits etc but I know there are lots of people on MN who are, they'll be along soon I'm sure.

timelytess Sun 03-Jan-16 08:20:34

I understand that you are very frightened. I wish I had the information that would make you feel secure. I think you will find a way.
You have done the right thing in telling him to go. You have so much to cope with, he is a burden you don't need. If he sorts himself out, fair enough, but you can't do that for him.
I am so very sorry for your loss flowers. The combination of devastating heartbreak when it is imperative to carry on and make a positive future for your sons must take a strength beyond imagining.

KittyandTeal Sun 03-Jan-16 08:21:23

I'm so sorry about the death of your dd (I think I may have read your thread if you had one!?) it is such a hard time. I cannot comprehend how hard that must be.

My marriage has been difficult since we lost dd2. However, my dh and I are both as understanding of each other as can be, and still it's hard. It must be virtually impossible to live with a man who compares his greif to yours.

Just because he (you) has lost a dd it doesn't give him licence to treat you badly. Maybe kicking him out might give him a kick up the arse he needs.

Was the counselling joint? Did the counsellor not (gently) pull him up on it?

minmooch Sun 03-Jan-16 08:25:50

I'm so sorry Cath what a truly awful situation. I lost my son 22 months ago and the ramifications on lots of relationships has been awfully hard on top of a terribly tragic situation. I was not married (husband left when my son was diagnosed as he didn't want an ill step son) but I am very aware of other bereaved parents and their struggles to keep their marriages. We all grieve differently, inwardly and outwardly. From my experience women are quicker to ask for help from their gp then men.

no advice. It's a shit situation on so many levels. Grief is so terribly lonely even when you are with a partner. Xx

justkeepongoing Sun 03-Jan-16 08:40:45

Sending love and hugs xxx

NaiceVillageOfTheDammed Sun 03-Jan-16 08:45:24

Maybe this is the kindest act of cruelty you can do for him.

He hasn't delt with the death of DS or gone through any positive beneficial grieving process.

Perhaps this will bring him to the point where he has to deal with his feelings.

You don't have to be his emotional whipping boy.

This is the turning point for you both.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 03-Jan-16 08:50:36

I don't even know where to start with advice. It sounds like absolute hell. Just be assured that he will have to pay you maintenance and you will be entitled to benefits (depending on savings and assets) so you will manage.

Youknowitmakessense Sun 03-Jan-16 08:50:50

I can't offer advice I'm just so sorry for everything you've been through.

Thankgodforthat Sun 03-Jan-16 08:52:29

Sadly I think the only thing that will help your marriage is if he seeks help for his breakdown and depression. And that has to be down to him now.

magimedi Sun 03-Jan-16 08:55:06

I well remember your pots & the death of your beautiful daughter.

I can't offer any better advice than has been given already & also hope that maybe this will bring your husband to his senses & that he will seek some help.

Thinking of you. flowers

PollyPerky Sun 03-Jan-16 09:02:23

Thing is I am a sahm, have been for 5 years, no qualifications, he's a very high earner. I'm frightened, I don't know how I'm going to live, if I'm entitled to anything.

You will be entitled to at least 50% of all your assets and enough of his income to support yourself and your child.

That's further down the line but if he is a high earner , you will have a fair share of that until your child is 18.

giraffesCantDoThat Sun 03-Jan-16 09:04:33

Hi Cathpip I remember you. I've seen this happen to quite a few bereaved families sad If he wants to make things work he needs to go and get some help for his depression and take some responsibility for looking after that himself.

NameAgeLocation Sun 03-Jan-16 09:08:06

Oh lovely cathpip, I saw this post and thought it must be you.

I hope to high heaven that this will be a turning point for him and he realises he cannot cope with his grief alone.

Other MNers will have practical tips which I can't offer but I had to post a few words to add my voice to those of so many who don't know you but nonetheless care deeply about you, your beautiful girl and your family.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 03-Jan-16 09:08:06

I'm so sorry. I clicked on the thread and when I saw your name as OP my heart sank. I hope you find a way forward. Xxxx

MigGril Sun 03-Jan-16 09:16:41

I just wanted to say you haven't moved on you are coping and have sort out help for yourself for the sake of your other children. This is this case of a strong women taking responsibility ability at a very difficult time.

I don't think he doesn't love you any more, more like his greaf as consumed him that he's lost all his other feeling with it. I think asking him to leave is probably a good step for all of you be needs to seek help and deal with his issues first before he can really know how he feels for you and the rest of the family.

FrancisdeSales Sun 03-Jan-16 09:18:40

OP I am assuming that any close friends or family members he has have rallied round and offered him support? If not can you bluntly tell them you are in crisis as a couple and he needs immediate help? Sometimes people just don't realise the depth of the suffering or feel helpless in knowing what to do or say.

I am so sad to hear of your loss of your beautiful dd.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 03-Jan-16 09:27:45

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dd OP x

Whisperingeye1 Sun 03-Jan-16 10:04:45

You will be entitled to financial support - both from him and benefits. The CAB are able to give advice on what you would be entitled to so it may be worth visiting or calling them. I can not begin to imagine what you are going through and I am sorry for your loss. flowers

Woopsiedaisy Sun 03-Jan-16 10:45:34

I am so sad to hear this cathpip

However, I doubt very much that he really means it when he says he doesn't love you anymore.

Grief is a complex process and anger will revisit that process many, many times.

I am not sure what type of counselling you have had, but I think he urgently needs 121 bereavement counselling. It is very difficult for parents when a child dies. Both feel the loss of the child they have nurtured but men can feel enormous guilt and may not be able to find a way to resolve why they have failed in their traditional protective role.

This guilt will manifest in anger and that anger can be increased and confused by watching you start to nurture your new baby. Unfairly he may feel that you have moved on and that he alone carries the grief from the loss of your daughter.

This may well be the reason why he didn't lift a finger during your pregnancy.

His behaviour when he left yesterday is screaming out that he urgently needs help.

I would make an appointment with your GP tomorrow and ask him / her how to access that help. Once you understand that you need to engage with your H again and make it clear that you empathise with what he is going through but that failing to address his anger / grief is not an option.

I suspect that he will now have calmed down a little and be incredibly relieved that you are trying to help him.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 03-Jan-16 11:21:23

As a longtime lurker I read your thread in Bereavement. It was unutterably cruel that your precious little girl to be taken from you and I wept for you.

It seems your h has made grieving a competition as to who cared the most for Pippa. It's incredibly unfair of him to berate you for having no choice but to put your grief aside in the best interests of her siblings, and he needs to realise that your selflessness and dedication to the emotional welfare and wellbeing of her brothers has enabled him to indulge his grief at any time of his choosing, while you have had no such luxury.

I get the feeling that he's clutching his grief to him for fear that letting go will in some way be a betrayal of her that would invalidate her very short but deeply meaningful time in your shared history.

You've made the right decision in telling him to leave the family home and it's to be hoped that being out on a limb will persuade him to seek the professional help he needs to be able to fully participate in family life again.

flowers I don't have any words to ease your torment, dear cathpip, but your indubitable courage and immense love for all of your dc will get you through whatever lies ahead and, while time doesn't heal, the pain will eventually become less agonising and you will be able to breathe freely again.

PitPatKitKat Sun 03-Jan-16 13:58:29


FredaMayor Sun 03-Jan-16 16:12:37

OP, I also want to say how sorry I am for your loss.

The death of a child quite often results in one or both of the parents feeling ambivalence about their partner, sometimes because that person acts as a reminder so they feel a break from them might make things better by getting a new start. This happened to an ExP of mine many years before we met - after the event he 'coped for them both' and tried to keep things as normal as possible whilst his DW blamed him, illogically, bearing in mind the details of what happened. Both parties were in extremis. They 'grew apart', as you are describing may be happening in your situation.

How much bereavement counselling have you had, either singly or together?
You have some tough issues to deal with and should have expert help in guiding you forwards. For instance, as your DCs grow up what has happened will become part of their family history and it is important they are not allowed to feel guilt - either because of the death or a family break up if that happens. I sincerely hope you are able to help your relationship, both of you.

IrenetheQuaint Sun 03-Jan-16 16:19:19

I'm so sorry to hear this - how miserable, on top of the loss of your dear little girl.

The statistics for marriage breakdown following child death are frighteningly high and having seen the fallout from the loss of a child in my extended family I know it can do dreadful things to all involved.

No advice but look after yourself. I don't think any split need necessarily be permanent; it may just be better for you two to spend some time apart while he sorts himself out.

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