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Staying together cos of children

(33 Posts)
sunbirdstosoarwith Wed 03-Feb-16 22:21:48

I'm posting here because the advice I have seen given - as an observer of this site - is generally v good. This is such a cliche. Do you stay in a marriage when you are no longer in love? It's not like i'm dreadfully unhappy. We are married, with one child. I'm just hopelessly and thoroughly bored. I feel like my life if slipping away, like I should be making more of it. Like it is a waste of a life, and it wasn't meant to be like this. I want to be with a kindred spirit, and I don't feel like I am. In fact, I know I'm not. Not sure what to do as I know that splitting up will cause so much pain.

bb888 Wed 03-Feb-16 22:48:26

Have you tried to get things back on track eg counselling? If you are completely convinced that it is over, then its really just a question of when you break up, unless you plan to stay with him for the rest of your life 'for the children'. In my experience doing that leads to an increasingly toxic atmosphere, and is probably making you more miserable than you realise, as you will had adjusted slowly to things as they have got worse.
If you are determined to break up at some point then the only thing you do by staying is to lengthen the bit where you are waiting for what feels like the right time to go.
There is also something about the example you are setting for your child about what a relationship should look like.
If you are unhappy its likely that you are not being the best parent you could be - I found that once I had separated from my H that I was a better mum for my children, as I was more relaxed and happier, and they seem happier also (though they weren't unhappy before).

sunbirdstosoarwith Thu 04-Feb-16 00:51:45

Thanks bb888 for your own insight. I've read a lot on here about toxic atmospheres for children, and also setting an example of what a relationship should be like. But the thing is, the atmosphere at our house isn't toxic, I would say it is quite jovial much of the time. Any arguments we have had - and my guess is that they are probably similar amount to most couples - we have done when child is not around. To all intents and purposes we look like a normal couple, whatever that is. I'm posting here as I think or guess there maybe a lot of people in my circumstances - ie knowing they are settling for something they know is not right, relationship-wise, but not sure whether the upheaval of leaving is worth it for all concerned.

bb888 Thu 04-Feb-16 02:48:12

I would have said very similar though - Its only from a point of view of being out of it that I realise that things are so much better. I was very surprised when my children seemed happier - because they were happy before. I would have said that I was unhappy in my relationship, but not that I was generally miserable.
I've since seen 'staying together for the children' described as 'death by 1000 cuts' and I think there is a lot of truth in that. You slowly adjust to the worsening relationship, and so I think don't get a good idea of how far away it is from being 'right', because it is poisoning you very slowly. Its only now I'm out of it that I can look at it with perspective.

nattyknitter Thu 04-Feb-16 03:14:18

As a child of such a relationship, please don't. They thought they were doing it for the best. I will never forgive either of them.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Thu 04-Feb-16 04:27:10

One of my friends is doing this. It hasn't actually been announced, but it's obvious. Really obvious.

I wonder if it's that obvious to us, whether his children pick up on it.

I tried staying together for the children. My children were happier once we'd split.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 04-Feb-16 04:42:54

You're no longer in longer in love with your husband, the man you presumably once thought was your 'kindred spirit. You feel your life is 'slipping away' and your dissatisfaction can only be resolved by finding another kindred spirit.

What happens when you fall out of love with your h's replacement? Will you simply look for another?

Have you spoken to your h about your feelings? Could it be that, despite the jovial atmosphere in your home, he's as 'hopelessly and thoroughly bored' as you are?

It's easy for love to take a flying leap when the dc arrive and you become bogged down in the humdrum routine of work/schools runs/domestic chores, but that doesn't mean you can't recover the feelings you once had for your h and get your marriage out of the doldrums to which so many succomb.

Start by counting your blessings and then look to ways in which you can recover the zest for life you once had as a newly wed when all things seemed possible as the only thing that's changed in that respect is your mindset.

Instead of settling for something that's 'not right', be proactive and take steps to make it right and make it work for both of you. If you don't succeed you will at least avoid any future regret at binning a good man when you discover that the grass on the other side is not the dazzling emerald you currently believe it to be.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 04-Feb-16 06:48:18

For me the key question is whether you ever felt your h was your kindred spirit or whether in retrospect you married the wrong guy.

If it's the former then my advice would be to stay and work on it..
If it's the latter then it might be time to move on from the relationship. You deserve to be happy too and if you can have a civilised break up before you and h feel bitter and resentful then your children are more likely to handle things better.
I was hopelessly bored in my marriage. I tried finding fulfilment through my career, friends, DC, hobbies but the effect on your soul of a dull life partner is crushing. My ex h is a nice guy, just not the right guy.

I hope you can find happiness.

Newcurtains Thu 04-Feb-16 07:37:02

Have you felt like this for a long time? I know that I go through periods of feeling like this, like life could just be so much more exciting, but I'm honestly not sure that it can. Who's to say it would be any better if you were with someone else?
I do know how you feel though and I feel guilty for feeling that way.

bb888 Thu 04-Feb-16 07:39:28

Try to think of it in terms of being with them vs being single and which you would prefer, rather than leaving on the basis of whether another man might be better, that way you know for sure that you will avoid grass not being greener types of regret

sunbirdstosoarwith Thu 04-Feb-16 07:48:29

Thank you for all the great advice, a lot of it rings true, especially the 'death by a thousand cuts'. I'm a male, not that that makes any difference I guess but I just don't want to mislead anybody, so to speak. We have talked. She seems as into us, me, as ever which I find baffling as day to day, I feel like I am going through the motions at home - there in body, not in spirit. I can't believe she can't tell. I just hate the idea of creating upset for my child by breaking the family unit, it really crushes me (even with 50/50 residency which I would want and be confident of getting).

sunbirdstosoarwith Thu 04-Feb-16 07:50:01

And yes bb888 - I would prefer to be single, any day of the week. For the rest of my days if it came to it.

Goingtobeawesome Thu 04-Feb-16 07:50:20

Did your parents have a good marriage?

PennyHasNoSurname Thu 04-Feb-16 07:58:36

I once read a saying "if the grass looks greener on the other side, tend to your own grass".

In your situation I would have to know that we tried to refresh our marriage before giving up.on it. It almost sounds as though things are loosing their fizz, rather than anything negative (resentment/affairs/abuse) setting in.

It could be that the relationship is evolving, or that it needs a little attention. If you end up splitting, fine, and I wouldnt let dcs get in the way of that, but have you actually tried to repair it?

sunbirdstosoarwith Thu 04-Feb-16 08:11:29

No Going - split when I was young.
Yes Penny, we have tried. If you spoke to her she would probably say there isn't that much of a problem. There is some slight resentment, but no abuse or affairs (that I know of anyway).
Another reason i am procrastinating is that I wonder if I am setting my goals too high. Most people I know seem to be in humdrum marriages. Some have told me they are. So maybe, I am thinking, that is just how it is for people after a certain amount of time married - 10 in my case - and I should just suck it up. And count my blessings. I don't know.
Thank you again for the advice, it is very insightful.

bb888 Thu 04-Feb-16 08:18:30

If you would rather be single then you aren't making any potentially false comparisons to someone who might turn out to not be greener grass.

I think that there are two elements to parents splitting up - one is that your child then doesnt have parents who are together any more. That is a loss and they will be upset about that.

There is also the element of the other losses that come with splitting - possibly the loss of the house they are familiar with and maybe easy access to both parents. I think that there is a lot that sensible parents who are both focused around the needs of the child can do to reduce that.

Finally, you may find that in being happier yourself that you are a better parent, and more able to meet your child's emotional needs. I would have underestimated the significance of this if I hadn't been through it myself. One of the things that can happen in a family is that responsibility for the children is shared, and so maybe both parents sometimes take their eye off the ball. Since I separated from their father it has been crystal clear to me that we are now two individuals parenting our children, and that ultimately they will judge us on our own merits.
So separating has helped me do better as a mother (I don't think I was bad before btw, I think I was doing fine, but I'm better now, I have more to give, and I'm giving it better).

The decision whether to separate or not feels huge when you are considering it, and it is definitely a big deal, but for me now looking backwards I feel that because my children are clearly better off now, that the tipping point for that decision was not where I thought it was.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 04-Feb-16 09:25:25

Why is your life just passing you by?
What do you want to do that you can't do now?
Married life does get a bit hum-drum but you can inject some life back into it if you are both on board with doing so.
Do you love your DW at all?
If not then I would suggest a trial separation is probably a good start.
You may find you miss each other immensely. You may find that you feel like the weight has been lifted and love life apart.
But you won't know until you try.

BlondeOnATreadmill Thu 04-Feb-16 09:25:57

I actually don't think that 10 years is that long. Certainly, that's no excuse for things to be "humdrum".

I have been with my DH for 7.5 years, and it's still as amazing and passionate as it was in the first year. He still gives me goosebumps. To me, he is the most handsome, sexy, funny man on the planet. I wouldn't give another guy a sideways glance.

Are you still intimate with each other? If not, I think that's part of your problem. Once you lose that connection, everything else starts to slide, imo.

Reading your comments, I would leave her. Life is too short, to be so unhappy. I love this:

QuiteLikely5 Thu 04-Feb-16 09:35:39

Relationships imo always follow a familiar pattern. To my mind you're bored and want to feel some excitement or something similar

Believe me when I say the excitement dies down in most relationships. It is replaced with similar to what you describe.

a commitment means staying loyal long after the mood you made it in has left you.........sorry but you had the child, your relationship is fine and for no real reason you want to give up on it

The buzz you're after ALWAYS fades

dimots Thu 04-Feb-16 09:50:22

I know it is always said on here that the children grow up to resent parents who stayed together for the children, but in real life I have known several people whose parents did this, sometimes splitting when the children were young adults, sometimes not. The people I know have all said they thought this was the best solution and are glad they grew up with both parents living together. I think your finances do have an impact on this. No matter how caring the parents, if they can't fund 2 households to a reasonable standard, your children will suffer after a split. Housing costs are high ATM and I wouldn't bank on the current tax credits system surviving long term.

readyforno2 Thu 04-Feb-16 10:02:40

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.

readyforno2 Thu 04-Feb-16 10:05:58

I hit post too soon,
Basically, it may seem OK to you, my parents tried to be as 'normal' as they could. It was just there. It's so hard to explain, but your dc will be aware. Maybe not now depending on age but at some point.

IrianofWay Thu 04-Feb-16 11:26:57

Why is your life passing you by? Is it passing you by because you are married to the wrong person or is it passing you by because you are an adult with (presumably) a job, a child and normal adult responsibilities?

First of all define what is missing and what you want. It all seems a bit vague TBH.

IrianofWay Thu 04-Feb-16 11:27:32

BTW how old are you?

confusionoftheillusion Thu 04-Feb-16 11:39:15

wow - i love that film! thanks for sharing.

I don't think that marriage has to be "hundrum"... LIFE is sometimes humdrum... But the MARRIAGE should be special, intimate, sparkling, warm and comfortable yet exciting.

My first marriage was HUMDRUM, even when LIFE was exciting!
LIFE is now a lot more humdrum, but my relationship is magic. He makes my heart skip - and yes it's only been 3 years but I know it's a million miles away from how i felt with my ExDH.

2 books I would recommend:
too good to leave, too bad to stay and Stay or leave. Google them smile good luck

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