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Is it ever worth staying in a relationship for children?

(20 Posts)
AllTheTreesAreTall Wed 06-Jan-16 08:40:45

I have two children and dp and I have been together on and off for ten years. He's not a bad man but we're not an ideal match - there are times we argue badly and have split up previously.

He wants to stay together for the sake of the children. However, we have no real sex life, his behaviour towards me suggests he finds me boring and annoying and I was a very happy single parent. I feel that after so many on/off years in our relationship, if we're not in love now then what's the point in keep trying?!

However I feel like the villain if I leave. He has a big four bedroom house in a leafy suburb whereas I have a small two bed flat in a busy area. The children would have to share a room. There would be little space. Plus he would demand that they stay with him at weekends, fair enough but they would love his big house and garden and maybe hate me for not providing that sad and preventing them from having a better lifestyle.

I feel if the relationship is rubbish then it's unlikely to improve - I may be wrong but I haven't heard of couples suddenly rediscovering love after years of incompatibility? I understand that having two young children puts pressure on a relationship but I found him selfish already, for example whilst pregnant I had terrible morning sickness but he made little effort to help me. Most evenings now I say I'm tired and go to bed early and read a book as spending time with him is not good.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 06-Jan-16 08:44:14

You're right. This relationship is dead. You only get one life and one youth - don't waste it in a life that doesn't make you happy. Do you think the kids will be thrilled to find out as adults that you never really wanted to be together all those years?
Yes, you will need to share care of the kids. Every other weekend plus a night in the week is common. Sure, they will enjoy the big house but that's not the be all and end all.

AuntieStella Wed 06-Jan-16 08:44:22

It can work, but it requires both partners to be really committed to renewing the relationship and to actually do things that improve it.

It's not chance rediscovery, it's the product of effort to reconnect.

Are you up for that? Is he?

FredaMayor Wed 06-Jan-16 09:32:54

I stayed for that reason and really wish I hadn't. I sacrificed good years and a career I loved. There is no reward in life for suffering like that. DCs knew the marriage was in trouble because ExH told them but he omitted to tell me. hmm

Nightzone Wed 06-Jan-16 09:44:32

Are they his children? You mentioned being a single
parent. Was this in one of the times you split up?

Children will adapt. Don't waste your life.

summerwinterton Wed 06-Jan-16 09:45:26

no it can't work - and you deserve better than that, as do your DC.

and EOW is normal for contact - him having them every weekend is ludicrous and too much.

TooSassy Wed 06-Jan-16 09:53:50

OP. Been there, got the t-shirt.

Was with my STBXH for about 10 years, two DC's. Last 3-4 years of the marriage were shaky, next to no sex etc. I tried a few times to resurrect and it wasn't really reciprocated. Not great tbh. Without that intimacy, the distance sets in over time. But on the whole, we had a good life and I figured no-one has it all so decided I had to live with it (really for the sake of the DC's).

Blew apart 6 months ago. Spectacularly. Am not going to lie the first few months of separation were hell. The shared access of children is tough. DC's have struggled with it. But. Honestly. The house is a calmer, more chilled and much much happier place without us struggling to maintain a farce. I have ups and downs but on the whole when I look at the future it is with some trepidation but equally huge excitement.

It's been hard, it will continue to be challenging but I wouldn't go back for all the tea in China. We all deserve to be with someone who thinks we are amazing. Shows us affection and is into us sexually. I really want that and whilst I wouldn't wish what happened to me upon anyone, I am incredibly grateful my marriage is over.

At the time I would never have ended my marriage due to a lack of sex/ intimacy. Because of the DC's. Now I look back and think I was incredibly naive to think we weren't going to derail at some point. We're human and at some point if you're not getting your needs met, someone at some point will go elsewhere.

Had my ex worked on it and tried to resurrect us, I would have put my heart into it 110%. But he didn't want us or more to the point me. I think it is possible to rediscover that intimacy but only if both parties are totally in it 100%.

Hope that helps

Hoppinggreen Wed 06-Jan-16 10:02:38

As the child of parents who stayed together " for the children" I would say no, don't do it.
I had a crappy childhood, terrible atmosphere at home and I also feel guilty my mum was trapped with my arsehole father for so long ( she finally divorced him when I was in my 20's)

hellsbellsmelons Wed 06-Jan-16 10:03:01

I would say not this can't work.
If you had a wonderful relationship previously and totally loved each other and got on great and the 10 years had been good but things were now fading, then yes it's possible to get the love back.
But from what you are saying, no it's not. Sorry.
I think you are right to want to split.
Are you married?
Do you work?
How old are the children?
I always think that being miserable 'for the children' is an awful burden to put on them.

BartholinsSister Wed 06-Jan-16 10:30:57

The answer to your question depends largely on how the custody will be arranged. If you're only going to see your children every other weekend, say, then you might be more reluctant to leave.

booooooooooom Wed 06-Jan-16 10:37:46

No, Nay, Never.

Terrifiedandregretful Wed 06-Jan-16 10:48:33

DP and I are struggling with this now as we are basically flatmates, but we are asking ourselves which is worse: no sex for the rest of our lives, or only seeing our daughter 50% of the time? (We parent 50-50 so wouldn't do EOW). The no sex is seeming like the preferable option. We get on really well though, if we were arguing I think it would be an easier decision.

Mrskeats Wed 06-Jan-16 11:03:49

No it never works

Nightzone Wed 06-Jan-16 11:24:19

Terrified and regretful - there are couples who don't have sex. If neither of you want sex with each other any more but don't want to split up, could you come to some kind of understanding re opening up the relationship?

Jan45 Wed 06-Jan-16 11:24:42

I don't understand why two adults cant come to the reality that the relationship is dead and deal with the practicalities of living apart but co parenting, it shouldn't be a case of having to stay, there are choices.

Why would you want to stay with someone when there is no relationship there anyway - for the kids sake, and how long would that last, until one of you meet someone else and all hell breaks loose.

Suddenlyseymour Wed 06-Jan-16 12:12:39

Jan45 - nailed it. Exactly that.

mum2mum99 Wed 06-Jan-16 12:24:03

AllTheTreesAreTall there is no such thing as staying for the children.
Yes children do hurt when parent split. But the long term effect of staying with someone you do not love is worse. You are modelling them that a loveless relationship is ok.
They also deserve a happy mum. Staying might send you in long term depression and mental health issues.
Move away and start living for yourself, blossom. It is not easy but it is worth it. ( I am divorced).

Joysmum Wed 06-Jan-16 12:38:36

As the child of parents who stayed together " for the children" I would say no, don't do it

I'd agree.

My parents were on good terms, there was nothing bad about the marriage other than it was a loveless one and they weren't suited.

There were few aguments but it wasn't happy families either.

My attitude towards marriage and relationship was that 'that'll do' was good enough. I ended up being hurt in early adulthood because of my low standards sad

Baressentials Wed 06-Jan-16 12:42:18

No. Never.

Holly34 Wed 06-Jan-16 13:05:10

Parents can forget that children are constantly observing your relationship and sensing your worries. As a mother whats most important is to be happy and joyful around your kids once they grow they will only have the memories (good and bad) thanks

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