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Would you stay in this relationship?

(26 Posts)
Gattabianca Fri 12-Feb-16 21:18:40

My best friend thinks I should leave my husband. She keeps going on about it. She's a bit younger than me, very loved up (getting married next year) and has no kids. She's In a place I was 10 years ago.

I'm mostly happy with my life. Materially I'm very comfortable - nice house,nice area, nice car, holidays etc. pretty much able to do the things that I want to do.
DH is away a lot. When he's home he's usually very pleasant and we get along fine, he pulls his weight with childcare. He's a great dad.

Our relationship is by no means perfect. Main issue we have is that he resents the fact that I work part time and earn less than him. I would love to give up work to be at home with our son until he starts school but DH would never agree to that and I couldn't be financially dependent on him. I know from bitter experience that if I need him, I can't depend on him.

Friend hasn't forgiven him because he did something quite nasty last year and I left him briefly.

I think my life would be much harder if we separated and it would be very detrimental to my son. Friend thinks I'm in denial but I'm not, am I? When you've been married for a long time and have children your priorities change?

Chrysanthemum5 Fri 12-Feb-16 21:26:50

What did he do last year? I don't think your priorities should change isn't your priority to be happy with someone who respects you?

bb888 Fri 12-Feb-16 21:29:53

Don't assume that leaving would be detrimental to your son. Without knowing what happened previously its hard to comment, but staying in a relationship purely for the sake of a child is detrimental IMO.

pinkyredrose Fri 12-Feb-16 21:31:04

Tbh he doesn't sound like a supportive partner. Why does he have an issue with your being part time? Does he not realise that money is only one part of running a household especially when you have a young child. Would he prefer you to work full time and put your son in full time care?

BeyonceRiRiMadonnna Fri 12-Feb-16 21:31:25

Friend thinks I'm in denial but I'm not, am I?

Your friends know the whole story, we can't honestly answer without knowing it all.

I can't depend on him
Isn't marriage all about knowing someone has got your back, doesn't sound like he has got your back!

lavenderhoney Fri 12-Feb-16 21:35:04

Are things better now?

Your friend should stop hassling you tbh - you should tell her to stop interfering and you are happy. Maybe it's not her happy but it's your choice. And your dh - you don't have to justify your marriage to her.

If she won't - well, you aren't an episode of eastenders and she'll have to get her drama kicks elsewhere.

Resilience16 Fri 12-Feb-16 21:35:08

Hi, it depends on what the something quite nasty was I guess. I think it is telling you say he is "usually" pleasant.And also that you can't depend on him.
The undercurrent I get is that this relationship toddles along because your partner works away a lot so it is easier to ignore any issues.
Only you can weigh up the situation and decide whether a nice house, car and holidays is worth staying in a (maybe) rocky relationship for.
Your friend sees things differently because she has the perspective of being detached from your relationship. When you are on the inside it is sometimes hard to see (or face) what to others are glaring red flags.
Bottom line is you don't have to put up with a crappy relationship just because you have been married for a long time and have kids. More reason in my opinion to expect to be treated well.
Only you knows what really goes on in your marriage, and only you can say if you are in denial or not. Just be honest with yourself,even though that can be hard sometimes, I know.
Good luck x

Gattabianca Fri 12-Feb-16 21:38:26

We had an argument on the way home and he dumped me 30 mins from home in the middle if the night. He realises how bad it was and apologised a lot and has never done anything like that since.
It's not an abusuve relationship. DS has never witnessed anything unpleasant. If our relationship was in any way detrimental to our son I would leave without a second though.

Joysmum Fri 12-Feb-16 21:42:49

If he's putting the guilt trip on you for being part time, tell him that once he's got himself a job that works around his son then you can then go full time.

Bet he's one of those that blames you but will do fuck all to mess up his life and job so you don't have to compensate for him not putting in 59% to childcare and running the home.

bb888 Fri 12-Feb-16 21:43:42

Even if your son doesn't see any abusive behaviour, if you are knowingly staying because you think its better for your son rather than what you want then I think there will be all kinds of little tensions that he will begin to pick up on.

Gattabianca Fri 12-Feb-16 21:43:50

Tbh he doesn't sound like a supportive partner. Why does he have an issue with your being part time? Does he not realise that money is only one part of running a household especially when you have a young child. Would he prefer you to work full time and put your son in full time care?

He's not a very supportive partner but he is an excellent father. Yes, he definitely wants me to work full time and for our son to be in full time nursery. I think, he really thinks this would be better for him because he wants him to do more formal learning.

Gattabianca Fri 12-Feb-16 22:02:59

Isn't marriage all about knowing someone has got your back, doesn't sound like he has got your back!
This is what friend says but I don't think this marriage is really about us anymore. We are providing a safe, stable home for our son.
If we separated, wouldn't we need to sell our house?
I don't want to be with someone else. If I (or he) did then I guess things would have to change but why change everything if we don't have to.
We surely can't be the only couple who stay married because it's just the best option??

bb888 Fri 12-Feb-16 22:16:02

Staying with someone that you don't love isn't stable. I know that when you are doing it it feels 'stable' because you get so ground down by it you can't see any other way, bit its not sustainable because you can't do it forever.
I was guilty of staying in a relationship 'for the kids' and now that I am out I find it very hard to understand why I actually believed that (though I'm convinced that I did).
Things are so much better now, happier children, better mum and the children have absolutely stable relationships because they are with each parent individually rather than as the children of a couple (if that makes sense?). I am now in a situation that feels amazing, with happier children, and that I can clearly see the strength of going forward. I'm also delighted to know that I will never again have to be in a relationship with someone I don't love.

Resilience16 Fri 12-Feb-16 22:29:18

If you 100pc thought you were doing the right thing, I don't think you would be posting on MN.
You can minimise the dumping issue, and justify it to yourself because he apologised afterwards and nothing similar has happened since. What I would say is have a look at "How a seemingly healthy relationship turns abusive" on the She knows website.
My emotionally abusive relationship with my ex started with one incident, which he was very apologetic about, but then over time one incident became two,three, four etc until l I came out of denial and saw it for what it was.
It took me four years from that first incident.
Of course, your experience may well be a one off and I hope for yours and your sons sake it is x

Gattabianca Fri 12-Feb-16 23:18:51

bb888 I'm glad your and your children are happier now. Hope you don't mind me asking - do you work? Are you self sufficient?
My job is so stressful and tbh I hate it and working even part time really weighs on me. I really resent the days I spend at work because I feel like it's time wasted that I could be spending with my son before he starts school.

I will have a look at the She knows website flowers

HeddaGarbled Fri 12-Feb-16 23:45:32

There are so many issues here, it's difficult to advise.

I don't think you should sacrifice personal happiness in order to maintain the status quo for children or to stay in a nice house.

However, the first few years after having children are notoriously testing for marriages and it is possible that things will improve.

It's clear that you are yearning to give up work but your H is dead set against this idea, so I think you just need to forget about that. It isn't really fair to him to expect him to shoulder all the financial responsibility unless he is happy to, which he clearly isn't. Working part time seems like a good compromise between your desire not to work and his desire for you to work full time. You both need to give up your resentments and agree that this is the compromise position. Open and honest discussion needed here.

I think you should look for a different job. If you were doing a job you enjoyed most of the time (all jobs are a pain sometimes), you would be happier. When you are less stressed and resentful, it will be easier for you to think clearly about whether the plus points of your marriage outweigh the negatives or not.

Personally, I would never want to be financially dependent on someone who I didn't feel was wholeheartedly supportive. It completely changes the equality of the relationship and can be seriously damaging to your self esteem.

Costacoffeeplease Sat 13-Feb-16 00:10:47

I know from bitter experience that if I need him, I can't depend on him.

Then you don't have a good relationship or marriage - if you need him and can't rely on him there's nothing there to build on

bb888 Sat 13-Feb-16 04:24:32

I do work Gattabianca, and earn more than my STBXH ( which is another issue now that I'm looking at divorce!)

maybebabybee Sat 13-Feb-16 07:22:29

It doesn't sound like a relationship I'd want to be in OP.

This man sounds a bit like my own Dad. Mum was child of a messy divorce so though she was unhappy she felt she couldn't leave as didn't want to put us through the same. At least he's a good father, she used to think. And yes, he was relatively hands on when we were young. But when they eventually split he showed his true colours and barely bothered with us. Even then we were much, much better off after the split. He was quite EA when they were together towards her and even when it's not directed at kids they do pick up on it. We certainly did.

You say he's a good father but part of being a good father is treating your child's mother with respect. I also don't see why he would want you to put your son in nursery full time if you are both happy with the current arrangement and he has his son's best interests at heart?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 13-Feb-16 08:07:36

Gattabianca,

re your comment:-

"He's not a very supportive partner but he is an excellent father"

No, he is not an excellent father if he treats his son's mother like this. Why are these dire men always "excellent fathers/great dads", women in situations like yours write such guff because they themselves can write nothing positive about their man. Would you want your son as an adult to be a crap partner to his lady as well?.

Better to be apart and happier than to be together and miserable as you are now. He resents the fact that you earn less than him but is not supportive of you going full time now to earn more. You've already left him once; what made you go back?. Be honest; was it because of the lifestyle you currently have or because was "easier" for you to take this option?.

I would also think that even if DS has not witnessed anything unpleasant he will anyway be picking up on all the tension and bad "vibes" your H shows towards you and you him. He is learning from his dad that yes this is how you treat a woman in a relationship. You're showing him that yes this is how your mother is treated and I stay for my own reasons.

The power and control balance in this relationship is well skewed in his favour through design. You've already stated that you cannot depend on him.

What do you want to teach your son about relationships?. Do not get caught up either in the "sunken costs fallacy" (with reference to I've been married a long time). That basically causes people to keep on making poor relationship decisions and stay in bad relationships that should have ended some time back. You forget here that the damage has already been done.

You staying within this will teach your son that a loveless marriage is his "norm"; he won't say thanks mum for staying with him. Staying married to this man is the best option for whom?. Your son should not and cannot be use as glue to bind you together. You stay within this for your own reasons, partly because it is "easier" for you to do so and you do not want to face the unknown i.e. life after separation.

Ultimately you have a choice re this man, your son does not.

RiceCrispieTreats Sat 13-Feb-16 08:16:18

I know from bitter experience that I can't depend on him

Then you shouldn't be in any kind of partnership with him.

Gattabianca Mon 15-Feb-16 21:28:34

maybe sorry your dad was such a twat

I don't think husband is a bad person. We just dont love each other anymore. He's done some crappy things, but he'd probably say the same of me.

I'm not miserable. I've got a nice life, friends, social life, lots of family support, etc. I don't really want to be in a relationship atm. I can pretty much do what I want with the exception of my job, but I know I need to stay working. I don't find it hard being home alone a lot with our son, quite the opposite.

You staying within this will teach your son that a loveless marriage is his "norm"; he won't say thanks mum for staying with him. Staying married to this man is the best option for whom?. Your son should not and cannot be use as glue to bind you together. You stay within this for your own reasons, partly because it is "easier" for you to do so and you do not want to face the unknown i.e. life after separation

That's true. i don't want him to grow up thinking this is normal because I'm too selfish and lazy to do anything about it.

Some practical questions about divorce/separation-

Isn't it really expensive? I barely break even every month. How do people afford it??
If we can't agree on custody arrangements, what will happen?
I can't afford to pay for this house without DH, but he can afford it without me. Would that mean he'd get to stay in the house or would we sell it?

Sorry these are probably really stupid questions. No one close to me has ever been divorced. I'm clueless about how it works.

bb888 Mon 15-Feb-16 22:35:29

In terms of practicalities have you looked at your benefit entitlement as a single parent? And also what your husband would have to contribute towards the children.

Cleensheetsandbedding Mon 15-Feb-16 22:41:16

op it's really sad that your putting materialistic things before your happiness.

Please don't kid yourself that your eventually your ds won't realise thst his mother and father are only there for a buisness arrangement.

Ah well st least you have a nice car hey ...

gleekster Mon 15-Feb-16 22:45:00

Did you post about it last year when he left you stranded? It rings a bell.

You may not have to leave the house, it all depends on the finances.

If all that is keeping you with him is a fear of losing your financial stability then at the very least, speak to a solicitor and find out what your options would be if you did decide to split.

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