Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

staying together for kids?

(55 Posts)
Hellojoe Wed 27-Jan-16 21:38:06

Have previously posted under a different name.

Dh treated me badly for a couple of months, basically not speaking, being grumpy and snappy. Not wanting sex.
It all came to a head before Christmas when he said he was unhappy with me, I asked him to leave for a bit while he decided what he wants.

Well it's now nearly two months later and he refuses to talk about what has happened, how he is feeling and how we could move forward. He has just said the only way he'd come back now is for the kids. (We have three young dc's)

What would you do?

Honestly I am bereft, we have been together since we were young. I miss him so much and I really love him. I think I am still in shock as I didn't see any of this coming, we have always been a solid unit.

I'm finding it hard to come to terms with the situation, the children miss him so much and ask why he won't come back. It breaks my heart.
Every time the door goes, they run to it shouting daddy. I feel so bad for them that this is happening.

Talcumsoul Wed 27-Jan-16 21:43:59

Take a deep breath, and prepare yourself to face that your relationship is over.
Believe him when he tells you things. He has told you it's over.
Counselling will probably help you, even when it is to separate graciously.
I'm sorry.

bb888 Wed 27-Jan-16 21:50:31

Having tried staying together for the children, I would say its not worth it. It will poison you, and you will be a better parent without that tension in your life.
Do the children know what is going on ie that he isn't living there anymore?

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 27-Jan-16 21:51:59

Don't do it. It will break your heart more every day. And he will leave again, guaranteed. You owe it to your children to stay strong here.

sleepinginmycar Wed 27-Jan-16 21:55:20

There is no good ending if you stay together for the sake of the DCs. He will not want to interact with you and will only really want to "be" with the DCs. You will just be in the way of his relationship with the DCs.
Best to accept that it's over and move on.

Jibberjabberjooo Wed 27-Jan-16 21:56:03

How would you feel about living with him again knowing he doesn't love you and is only there for the children?

mineofuselessinformation Wed 27-Jan-16 21:56:47

If the only reason is your dcs, don't do it - you need to be happy too.
And they'll be happier for having two happier parents apart rather than two miserable parents together.
It might not be good for a while whilst the whole family adjust to the new situation, but ultimately it will be better for all of you.
I've been there and done it.

Hellojoe Wed 27-Jan-16 22:03:06

I just don't know how to move on and be without him. I know that sounds pathetic.

The dc's know he is unhappy with mummy and is staying elsewhere.

He says he loves me but if e came back it would be for the sake of the children.

bb888 Wed 27-Jan-16 22:13:41

You deserve better than to have someone living with you on that basis. Would he be able to have the children to stay with him at his new house? It might help them understand. Is there anyway to re-frame the reasons that they have for him leaving? Them thinking that its about unhappiness with you isn't helpful.

Hellojoe Wed 27-Jan-16 22:27:17

I didn't exactly tell them that's why he left, but it all came as such a shock that I have tried to be as honest with them as possible.

I think I'm still clinging to the hope that he's having some sort of break down or is depressed (both of which he denies) and that he will come to his senses.

Hellojoe Wed 27-Jan-16 22:28:43

The children have had overnights with him, but hate going which is also hard because I know they need to have that relationship and I also need to have a break. But if seems unfair to send them when they don't want to go.

kittybiscuits Wed 27-Jan-16 22:39:28

Then there will have to be some compromise with the children if they hate it. It may improve in time. He's been very clear and he doesn't want to come back. Set yourself free and have the potential for a future relationship with someone who cherishes you. You will be happier alone when you can accept it and give yourself time to grieve.

MrsGPie01252 Thu 28-Jan-16 07:00:59

Most men that leave, go quiet in you, don't seem interested in sex, etc. Do so because they have developed feelings for someone else. This is your husband. Have you confronted the possibility of another woman? It's hard to cope with this and stay strong and brave for the children. Hope you have good friends about you who help you stay strong. Please remember.... You are worth it. You deserve the love of your husband. If he's not willing to stay true to you and your marriage, it isn't your fault. It is his. You have to fight for relationships to work and show willing. Did he even try counselling?

HandyWoman Thu 28-Jan-16 07:31:43

Cherchez la femme

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 28-Jan-16 07:46:35

I would have thought that he has been seeing another woman as well, his behaviours towards you in the time before leaving would suggest that.

If he is only wanting to come back for the sake of the children, it is no good reason to do so. He is being selfish here yet again because that would teach your children that a loveless marriage for them is also the "norm". Neither of you should teach them that particular lesson.

If he is refusing to talk about what has happened then I very much doubt he would see a counsellor anyway. This is well and truly over and he's told you as much.

Better to be alone than to be badly accompanied. You need to dig deep and press on with living life without him in it day to day by legally separating, have you actually sought legal advice to date?. Legal advice is also a must now.

ravenmum Thu 28-Jan-16 08:49:52

Does sound like classic affair behaviour, sorry. Even if not, you both have to want to be together for the good reasons or the atmosphere will be strained at best. The children are unhappy now because their routine has been broken up, but you can find another routine for them. When they ask why he isn't coming back, don't make it about anyone being unhappy, or him choosing not to live with them you.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 28-Jan-16 09:15:34

This must be so so hard for you.
I'm sorry you are going through this.
He's in love with someone else and he has quite clearly stated he doesn't want you, only the kids.
So it's time to face the fact that this is over and you deserve better than a lying cheating scumbag.

Your first step is to stop keeping his dirty secret.
Gather as much real life support around you as possible.
Get family and friends to help you through this awful time.
Then get in touch with CAB and find out what you are entitled to.
Then CSA and make sure he is paying maintenance.
Then a solicitor to start divorce proceedings.
It's all going to be so overwhelming for you to start with so take baby steps.
Look after yourself. Keep your sugar levels up and keep yourself hydrated.
So many of us on here have been where you are and we can all tell you that it does get better. It really does.
You won't see the light at the end of the tunnel for sometime yet but you will at some point.
Get your friends and family to help as much as you can. They will get you through this. They will want to help you so lean on them.
flowers for you.

Hellojoe Thu 28-Jan-16 09:25:21

I know you hear this time and time again on here, but I really believe there isn't anyone else.
He's never been that sort of man (although I would have said he wouldn't have been the sort to leave his wife and children)

He seems unhappy, depressed even but he won't go to the doctors.
He did try one session of counselling, but he didn't like it. He said it was pointless because she couldn't give him any answers and talking didn't make things clearer.

He says he loves me, he doesn't want a divorce but he would only come back for the sake of the children.

I know I'm holding on to the fact that he is depressed and he'll come around. I know I sound pathetic and needy.

He's all I've ever known, how do I prepare for a future without him when it's the last thing I expected. I don't know how people get through this

RedMapleLeaf Thu 28-Jan-16 09:45:16

OP you need to accept this situation.

You will manage even though you think you can't. You will manage by taking one step at a time. And then one day you will look back and see how far you have come and how strong you now are.

And if he's had a breakdown, and if he's depressed, and if he wants to return in the future, this will still be an option. Only it will be to a happier more confident woman and a healthier, more equal relationship.

readyforno2 Thu 28-Jan-16 09:49:50

I haven't rtft but please don't get back together for your dc.
My parents separated when I was five but then got back together as they thought it would be better for dsis and I. I'm not saying that we had an unhappy childhood but there was always a tension in the air that wasn't there in friends houses.
They separated again when I was 18 and have since divorced and my df has remarried. Both of my parents are far happier now and I kinda feel guilty that they felt they had to sacrifice their happiness for us. Especially after saying it was so strained.

AgathaF Thu 28-Jan-16 10:18:44

I'm going to sound harsh, but it doesn't really matter if he is or isn't seeing someone else. He has left. He says he won't come back for you. That tells you all you need to know. Now, it's about trying to come to terms with it and trying to move on.

Ignore his 'doesn't want a divorce' statements. It's not his call anymore. We has walked out on your marriage, relationship, family. So now that choice is yours.

Getting him back into your home 'for the children' though, would be a bad move. Bad for you because you would never feel happy with him, always wonder when he will go again. Bad for the children because it isn't a good example of an adult relationship to give them, and as readyfor has said, may make them feel bad about it once they are old enough to know why he has stayed. Plus, what happens when the children grow up/leave school etc? Will he then leave for good?

Talk to friends and family, neighbours and colleagues about this. Get it into the open. Let them support you so that you can move forward.

ravenmum Thu 28-Jan-16 10:19:01

I thought mine was depressed too, at first. He also refused to go to the doctor's and said counselling was pointless. He was also acting totally out of character.

You don't sound pathetic, you sound like someone who just had the shock of your life and is still reeling and confused. It's normal. I also started out thinking about how we could best stay together even if his feelings had changed. I'm glad now that we didn't. Changing your life so dramatically seems impossible at first, but you don't have to tackle it all at once, and some things turn our easier than you might expect.

For me it was a lot easier as I found out what was going on and the confusion went away faster. I remember being in your place before that and that was worse.

shoeaddict83 Thu 28-Jan-16 10:29:30

from another perspective i have to agree with ready. My DH separated from his exW after years of staying for the kids (5 and 10) as he thought that was best and didnt want to upset them, however a year after the split he then met me and we have been together a few years now and his daughter has come out with comments like she never understood why mum and dad never used to hold hands like her friends parents do, and said that unlike us, shes never seen her own parents kiss, even a peck as they leave for work in the morning. which i thought was incredibly sad.
He never realised she noticed any of that stuff so it obviously was effecting her and he never knew. Shes said shes happier now in two households with happy and openly affectionate parents, than when her mum and dad were together barely spoke!!

PoundingTheStreets Thu 28-Jan-16 10:36:04

He says he loves me, he doesn't want a divorce but he would only come back for the sake of the children.

I bet he does. It's aka wanting your cake and eating it.

He doesn't want to commit to being in a proper marriage with you, one of mutual support, companionship, fun and child-rearing. But he doesn't want to get divorced because that would mean he would have to split marital assets like the house, pension rights, savings, etc. hmm

I am pretty sure that in his head he thinks he can present this as him being the 'decent guy' who no longer loves his wife but is so 'decent' he won't contemplate divorce and leave her stranded and will play an active part in the children's lives. There probably is (or was) an OW, you know, which he is keeping carefully under wraps at the moment as it doesn't fit the image he is trying to cultivate. Eventually she'll be brought out as a 'new' relationship, something he 'wasn't expecting' and it 'just happened'. If that ultimately leads to divorce, he won't find himself judged for being unfaithful he thinks.

What this fails to take into account (apart from the fact it's BS anyway) is that his image of being the 'decent guy' is marketed at the expense of your ability to build a new life. It relies completely on you being in limbo unable to move on until such time he has made the decision to admit he's seeing someone or it fizzles out and he decides he wants to come back (which will probably be presented as you having to change and 'try harder' to make him want to stay).

I'm sorry to be so blunt about it, but this is as old as the hills. sad You'd be far better off asserting some power rather than remaining passively sad. Tell him to make his mind up and commit (if you want him back) or file for divorce, but tell him limbo isn't an option. And then see how quickly he either backtracks or reveals that he's not a 'decent guy' at all.

flowers flowers

Hellojoe Thu 28-Jan-16 15:53:09

Thanks all for taking the time to reply.

The good guy image just rings alarm bells for me, I believe that he treated me so badly for two months with the hope I would ask him to leave because then I would be the bad guy.

I hate this situation, I certainly don't feel very strong at the moment

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now