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I should leave but ...

(36 Posts)
Josian Sat 30-Jan-16 08:50:52

… I think (relative) financial security is more important for the DCs than my immediate happiness. Sorry, long post!

DH and I have been married for 15 years. Bit by bit everything I saw in him has turned out to be an illusion. He’s very intelligent and he could do almost anything if he would just put the effort in, but he aimed for a specific low-paid job and stopped striving once he achieved it. Over the years he’s withdrawn from sport and all social activities. He works part time and spends all of his time outside work either playing console games or watching pirated programmes online. He’s sarcastic, moody, at times explosive (not violently), basically not the nice person with good judgement that I thought I was marrying. He’s also very passive and will do as he’s told but never initiates anything.

I don’t enjoy his company any more. Because he only leaves the house to go to work his conversation is limited to things he’s read online, programmes he's watched (our tastes have diverged so I don't watch the same things) and occasionally a complaint or story about something that happened at work. We don’t sleep in the same room because of his snoring, which he refuses to get treatment for. The snoring has damaged his vocal cords and I find the change in his voice really unpleasant. We have no sex life, except for about once a year when I take pity on him and initiate something. He doesn’t take the DCs anywhere or plan anything with them. Often he complains bitterly if I arrange something for them that he has to participate in.

I study full time, work part time, and deal with everything to do with the house and the family. He will occasionally wash some clothes but I do all the cooking, cleaning, internal and external maintenance, financial management and decision making. If I specifically ask him to do something he will do it, but I know he counts on me being too busy to take the time to make him get up. Seeing him lounging on the sofa when I haven’t sat down all day drives me round the bend. We don’t fight, I just get on with what I have to do and increasingly ignore him. He claims he loves me and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep us together, but the words don’t translate into meaningful actions.

I’m exhausted and overwhelmed, and I’m sure I’d be happier on my own. The thing is, until I finish my education and can get my financial feet under me, leaving would put me and the DCs in a very precarious situation. I won’t do it to them because as far as I’m concerned having a stable roof over their heads is more important than my desire to be free of him. The one person I've confided in has told me to just go. Am I wrong to wait?

bb888 Sat 30-Jan-16 08:53:38

That sounds awful. How long before you would feel financially secure? Have you looked into what you would be entitled to if you did separate from him?

FlatOnTheHill Sat 30-Jan-16 09:01:57

Do youself a favipur. Save as much money as you can in your own account (dont tell him). Wait till you get your qualifications and a decent job. Then leave. You need to plan ahead with money for security. I know, ive been there. Just keep looking forward towards your goal. I did it.

Josian Sat 30-Jan-16 09:11:13

I have about a year of study left, then it will depend on whether I can get permanent work straight away or be stuck on contracts for a while. Entitlements are pretty poor. If I left now we'd have to leave the area we're currently in, and even moving elsewhere we wouldn't be able to afford a place large enough for the kids to keep their pets. Too much disruption in my eyes.

FlatOnTheHill, for now I can't save anything but yes, in future I plan to do that. How much I save will depend on how long I can hold on for.

bb888 Sat 30-Jan-16 09:13:05

Would he leave the house so that the children could stay? And then be paying towards the children?

Josian Sat 30-Jan-16 09:13:43

It's reassuring to not be inundated with replies just telling me to leave. I don't feel that I can talk about it again to the person who said that. She got quite exasperated with me.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 30-Jan-16 09:14:35

Are you not in the uk?

Josian Sat 30-Jan-16 09:14:48

Unfortunately he earns so little that his required contribution to the children would be minimal.

SoupDragon Sat 30-Jan-16 09:15:30

Have you explained all this to him?

bb888 Sat 30-Jan-16 09:17:57

If its a year then it seems like you feel you can probably manage to cope with that? It gives you the time to think it all through and start edging towards that goal.
Could you tell him that you are planning to leave and stop doing things like his washing? That might make it easier for you to cope and he might start thinking about the future and moving on a bit too?

DespicableBee Sat 30-Jan-16 09:18:01

Life s too short to stay with someone who makes you unhappy
It doesnt sound like he contributes anything to the relationship or household apart from part time work

juneau Sat 30-Jan-16 09:20:42

He sounds like a dead weight and a miserable, boring bastard to boot, but in your position I would bide my time, as you're doing, save like mad and make an exit plan that I could execute as soon as circumstances allowed. Get all your ducks in a row. See a solicitor. Just making your exit plan will make you feel better and more in control of this crap situation.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 30-Jan-16 09:24:09

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

I think another year of this just keeps you trapped and further miserable which in turn affects your children. Theirs is a home purely of bricks and mortar, it is not a loving home is it. Would it really matter if you had to leave the area, their home is not full of happy memories exactly is it?. They are seeing their dad actively engaging in his own private war with you their mother. You disengage from him. These children are perceptive; they pick up on all the vibes and know that things are bad.

Have you as yet sought legal advice, this is something I would consider doing now.

What do you think your children are learning from the two of you about relationships here?. What you are showing them currently between the two of you is that a loveless marriage is the norm. Your children are aware you have separate bedrooms and separate lives, their dad does not do anything with them. You chivvy things along.

Also financial security is no good reason at all to stay within this, do not kid yourself. Your own financial and work situation in a year's time may well not be fully secure either and saving money takes time also.

I do not think your children would be very happy either if they discovered that you sacrificed your own happiness, as well as theirs, because of so called financial security. They would perhaps even go on to accuse you of putting him before them.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 30-Jan-16 09:27:10

Saving money can take a long time to do (particularly if you are part time) and how much money would you ideally need to save up?. In the meantime whilst you are doing that, he and you are still together under the same roof.

Seeking legal advice would be a way forward; after all knowledge is power.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 30-Jan-16 09:37:41

Money is a real concern--especially these days--but, if you are staying purely for financial reasons, ask yourself about the mental, emotional and physical expense of staying in an unhealthy situation.

Josian Sat 30-Jan-16 09:49:55

This is a topic of conversation that comes up regularly. He promises to change then does nothing. I've tried appeals on the children's behalf, on my behalf, arguing for how much better our lives could be, telling him that I don't want to stay if nothing changes, anger, tears ... nothing's worked.

No, I'm not in the UK. There is support here for single parents but it's really not enough, and there have been all sorts of cruel crackdowns in recent years that have made it harder.

Juneau, I like the idea of an exit plan. I worry though that if I make one and don't manage to execute it I'll feel like a failure. When I can afford to get legal advice I will of course do that.

Maybe it would be better for my mental health if I left now, but sacrifices need to be made, and I'd rather it be me making them than the children. I don't think I should make them give up everything familiar (home, school, friends, pets) so I can feel like I'm moving forwards with my life. If it takes 5 years, it takes 5 years. They're in a happy and supportive home as far as they're concerned. When I go, I want it to be to a stable place where they can feel secure, with a minimum of disruption. This is the argument I had with my friend. She couldn't understand why I wouldn't just go if I'm unhappy.

There is another reason for waiting at least another year - being on my own will make it really hard to get through all the requirements of my course. In this respect I am looking after myself as well.

bb888 Sat 30-Jan-16 09:55:43

It sounds like you have given it all a lot of thought. Hopefully even the decision that you will leave will help you start to feel a bit stronger and get more boundaries at home about what you will accept.

Don't underestimate the possibility that the children will be happier once you are happier, even if they seem completely happy now. Also don't discount the idea that this might be a lot harder on you than you are realising at the moment. I know before I left I felt unhappy with things, but its only after getting out of the relationship and feeling the relief that its clear to me just how very detrimental it was for me.

Josian Sat 30-Jan-16 10:01:34

Actually, just having to write a reply to all your posts forced me to think really clearly about why I'm still here. I can be a bit pigheaded once I've made a decision, but I appreciate having someone challenge my thinking.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 30-Jan-16 10:05:01

"Maybe it would be better for my mental health if I left now, but sacrifices need to be made, and I'd rather it be me making them than the children. I don't think I should make them give up everything familiar (home, school, friends, pets) so I can feel like I'm moving forwards with my life. If it takes 5 years, it takes 5 years. They're in a happy and supportive home as far as they're concerned".

Sacrifices are already being made here by you, your mental health is one biggie here and another 5 years of this will really finish you off emotionally. You'll be really dead inside then if you are not half way there already. Your children in turn are being profoundly affected by all that is happening within their home environment. What do you want them to remember about their childhoods; ok so they kept their pets and lived in this house with their parents but it was not a happy home for them was it. Its not after all a happy one for you.

Please do not further kid yourself they are in either a happy or supportive home because they are not. They are seeing their dad engaging in his own private war against you as their mother, they pick up on all the vibes both you and he put out towards each other. You are unhappy and they see all that as well. Even worse they may be blaming themselves for their parents problems. This home is also not a sanctuary to them either. They know all too well that things are bad between you and he; you're basically trying to keep this sinking ship afloat by actively taking part in their lives. Their dad does no such thing with them.

I can see what this man gets out of this, he has you running around doing everything whilst he does nothing. He is not going to do anything to change that cushy number you have also helped to establish.

It will be tough leaving but staying in this is really death by 1000 cuts and not just for you.

juneau Sat 30-Jan-16 10:46:06

I don't think you should stay for five years. I think you should set yourself a time limit as part of your exit plan. One year is, IMO, acceptable since he's not abusing you, cheating on you, etc. But five more years of sharing your life with this deadbeat would crush your spirit. So make a plan - one that includes a time frame. Also, could your family help you out financially? I know my parents would, if I needed it, but I appreciate that not everyone's family is in that position.

FlatOnTheHill Sat 30-Jan-16 10:53:00

Op bit of advice. If anyone tells you to leave now dont do it, even if you are unhappy. You need some money behind you to leave. Being skint and being on your own with kids is no picnic. It took me 5 years to leave my husband, you have to plan these things and know you are financially secure. Dont leave with sod all. You will feel worse,

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 30-Jan-16 11:04:59


I would agree that the OP needs an exit plan (and legal advice) but the problem here also is that the OPs husband is in her words, "sarcastic, moody, at times explosive (not violently)". Moody behaviour in particular can be seen as emotionally abusive behaviour, also constant moodiness becomes wearisome.

Another year of this, let alone 5, will really destroy the OP and in turn her children as well who are also seeing all this familial dysfunction on a daily basis.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 30-Jan-16 11:19:01

I'd be interested to hear what sort of "financial security" a parent who only works part-time can provide for a family.

OP, your husband is a dead-weight but I can see that you've worked that one out for yourself. What is his reason for only working part-time while you also work, study and do all the work associated with keeping a home ship-shape?

Formulate your exit-plan and give yourself a year to achieve it. If it takes longer, so be it. It won't be a failure on your part if you can't go this time next year. Knowing that you'll go eventually and can see the end in sight might help to keep you sane in the meantime. I sincerely hope so.

FlatOnTheHill Sat 30-Jan-16 11:24:13

If the husband was beating them to a pulp then i would say run now.
He does sound awful but ive heard of a lot worse than this.

Josian Sat 30-Jan-16 11:25:28

Bear in mind that I realised what he is around 9 years ago. Five years sounds like a doddle in comparison!

Flat, was the wait enough for you to get everything organised? Did you still have to let go of any of the things you hoped to have sorted?

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