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Is being unhappy really enough of a reason to leave?

(64 Posts)
AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 10:04:33

Hi, I've lurked for a long time but not posted before.
I have been with my husband for a very long time. He was my first proper boyfriend and I was his. I have changed an awful lot over the 25 years we have been together, and over the last two or three, I've realised that I just don't want to be with him any more.
But is general unhappiness really enough reason to split up the family? We have two children aged 15 and 7 and I can't shake off the feeling that I'm just being completely selfish to shatter their currently very secure world. I have talked to my husband and told him how unhappy I am, but he just doesn't get it. I'm usually quite eloquent but I really struggle to explain to him how I feel, although this might be because I'm trying not to hurt him.
Is this reason enough do you think? Has anyone else left in these circumstances? Thanks for any replies.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 17-Feb-16 10:10:35

You've grown apart and talking to him has not been effective.

Children are perceptive and your eldest in particular likely know things are not ideal between their mum and dad and have not been for some time. They pick up on all the vibes.

You only have to give your own self permission to leave. Does your H really realise that you are so unhappy here that you are thinking about separating?. Why doesn't he get it, what sort of response does he give you?.

Would he be willing to go to marriage guidance counselling with you, if not I would go on my own. I think talking to someone completely impartial would help you as well.

Lottapianos Wed 17-Feb-16 10:14:53

If you're feeling really unhappy, then don't kid yourself that your children haven't picked up on it. They may be feeling less secure than you think. My parents had a miserable marriage but stayed together 'for the children' - we knew very well how unhappy they both were and it was a very unsettling and confusing experience, being expected to play happy families while knowing that something was very wrong.

There are no medals for martyrdom OP. If you are deeply unhappy, and have been for a while, then yes that is absolutely a good enough reason for ending your relationship. I would second Attila's recommendation of counselling - it can be a wonderful thing when you're feeling stuck or uncertain about how to move forward. The counsellor won't give you advice but will help you to be clearer about what is going on for you, and how to move forward. Good luck.

AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 10:20:06

I agree that we've grown apart - but he doesn't! He says he's still really happy with the relationship, which if I'm honest, I find baffling.
I think the truth which I don't want to hurt him with is that I don't want to try any more - and that's why I think I'm selfish. I have spent so many years pretending to be happy that nobody would believe that it's an act. It would be easier if there were arguments because I'd be able to justify it then. Sorry I'm rambling, but I feel like I'm reaching breaking point and it's scary.

AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 10:22:54

Sorry, forgot to say thank you for the replies, I really appreciate it. I'm scared of what people will think of me as I think the children will want to stay with their father who they idolise - I'm definitely the 'bad cop' in this family!

megganonion Wed 17-Feb-16 10:28:11

Happy parent equal happy kids. Families come in different shapes and sizes. Kids are resilient and most adjust with separation in a few months. I think you need to put unselfish first in some instances because to do u r best for us child u need to be happy.
If your not 100% sure you want to split maybe do a trial separation. See how every copes. You may just need some time to think through your thoughts. We all need space at times. But we also need respect and love which include breathing space to work on yourself. You have been together a long time I'm sure u r hubby could give you a week or two apart to work on wat u want. Best of luck x

AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 10:51:47

Does anyone think that a trial separation is more unsettling for children? Is it better to just tell them this is it, rather than give them potentially false hope?

megganonion Wed 17-Feb-16 11:01:50

It's whatever you think is best. Are you going to tell the children straight up? I think u need to be 100% sure before telling them. You seem to be sure from your post you should make yourself happy. It depends on your family and what you want. You could try counselling before you commit to anything talk things over in a controlled space away from kids and hopefully that might help you see a clear path

megganonion Wed 17-Feb-16 11:10:10

Sorry I forgot to answer your question too. Yes being unhappy is completely acceptable reason to leave. Hope you find happiness

AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 11:13:51

Thanks Megganonion. I've just read Biddyfromthebog's thread and can't help but feel this sort of vilification would come my way. I would hope that I can break the news better than her husband did though...

QuiteLikely5 Wed 17-Feb-16 11:14:48

Why are you unhappy?

I believe in sticking together through good and bad. Not where abuse is concerned.

is your misery really that bad?

Do you know the world you could be opening yourself and your dc upto?

Blended families, socio-economic effects etc

Make sure you consider everything carefully

Sheusedtobesomeonelse Wed 17-Feb-16 11:17:23

I totally get what you are saying, and was in exactly the same situation that you are in, 2 years ago.
my xh didnt get at all why i was so unhappy.

I got to breaking point and just announced one sunday evening stacking the dishwasher that it was over. He didnt fight it at all, as he wouldnt go to any relate type counselling, or even talk about it with me, i wasnt surprised.

We now share 50/50 parenting our 2 DDs and it sounds awful, but i don't miss him at all, i miss what we had as a family a long time ago.. but being unhappy means that you are responsable for finding your own happiness, and that has done me the world of good, i am happy now, contented and love my DDs so much more than i when i was living someone elses life that i didnt want.

Life is too short to grin and bear it.

AgathaF Wed 17-Feb-16 11:28:12

Can you explain why you're unhappy? You mention that you're the 'bad cop' in the family. Why is that, and is that having an effect on your unhappiness? As everyone else has said, you don't need permission to leave, and your children will no doubt adjust in time. But, you've been together for a long time. If this is something that has happened over just a few years that could be reversed with changes to your lifestyle, roles, attitudes (I'm meaning your husband's as well obviously), then would it be worth joint counselling to work through those issues etc. Of course, if your unhappiness goes deeper than this, and he is just the wrong person for you, then you really should do what you feel you need to.

tigermoll Wed 17-Feb-16 11:36:42

Hi Scary

It sounds like what you want is 'permission' to leave. And you don't really need anyone else to give you permission, but sometimes it can be very hard to actually believe that. I would advise that you book a session with a counselor, and invite your husband to go along. If he won't, go by yourself. A counselor doesn't have any vested interest in keeping you together; he/she can also help you negotiate an amicable split.

AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 11:41:39

Thanks for your replies.
I'm unhappy because I don't think I'm properly living my life. I'm going through the motions in a life which was set down very young when I didn't know who I was or what I wanted. I had very low self-esteem and grabbed on to the first man who showed some interest in me who I could see myself being with.
But as I've got older, I've learnt who I am and I'm not the person who has made this life. It's not been a sudden decision and I'm certainly not blasé about the impact any actions will have on my family, hence my guilt and indecision.
Sheusedtobesomeoneelse - how have your DDs taken things?

AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 11:42:51

Yes, I think counselling is definitely what I need. We went to Relate some years ago but I think there must be better out there. Any ideas where to start looking?

megganonion Wed 17-Feb-16 11:47:43

In UK and Ireland go can refer you for marriage counselling. I don't no where you are but hopefully there is family support centres. You should be able to find some online. I really hope you find us happiness.

ImperialBlether Wed 17-Feb-16 11:50:55

Why are you the bad cop in the family? Is he a bit of a Disney dad?

ijustwannadance Wed 17-Feb-16 11:53:18

You may have another 30-40 years in this marriage. Or you could leave and be the person you have grown up to be.
There is no shame in growing apart from someone you met in your youth. We all change as we get older. Tastes, opinions, self worth etc.
You cleary feel like you are not living to your full potential and this will continue to eat you up inside until you decide to do something about it.
Whether that path involves your DH or not is up to you.

BertieBotts Wed 17-Feb-16 11:55:33

Look for an accredited counsellor. Private is better than NHS as they can't offer you very many sessions.

Havalina1 Wed 17-Feb-16 12:06:21

I get what you're saying. You don't want to "try" anymore. It's so hard. I think counselling privately is a great idea. See if there is something to salvage or not.

Yes happy people make happy parents but being single - sorry but having experienced my own parents split up I find those kind of statements way too blasé. It is tough being a kid in a split up home, parents are often tired doing the work of two, it's financially difficult, and basically the rug is pulled from under you as a kid. My parents were right to split up but I resented my dad, once I was an adult, when I realised he never tried - even though the split devastated him.

I don't mean you should lead your life as a lie though and pretend. You've recognised you're not happy and taken the first big step.

Lottapianos Wed 17-Feb-16 12:15:39

You could google BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and search for therapists in your area. That's how I found my therapist. You may need to meet with a few therapists before you find one that feels like a good 'fit' - that is totally normal.

I recognise the feeling you describe of not properly living your life and not being the person you were meant to be. It's not a situation that anyone should just be expected to put up with. Well done for thinking about making changes.

megganonion Wed 17-Feb-16 12:17:01

My parent also split after 25 years of marriage I was 15. My mum and dad explained to us the reasons y they separated and yes there have been a bit of tension but the most important thing is that both my parent are now happily single. It was horrible the last few months of the marriage they didn't speak about what was going on and the house was tense. There was 6 children in our house at the time and the youngest was 5 at the time. It was strange at first but now it's normal and we are all happy

AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 12:17:29

Yes, I'm scared if I don't do something, it will eat away at me and make me bitter. I already feel I'm not the happy person I should be.
I don't think DH is a Disney dad as such, but right from being small, it's always been me having to do the discipline as he's a lot more laid-back than me. So I've been the one to instil bedtime, doing homework, tidying up after themselves etc.
I take on board what you say Havalina - that's another concern of mine, that people will think I haven't tried at all, when I've been constantly trying these last few years. It not letting it show.

AScaryFuture Wed 17-Feb-16 12:18:08

Sorry, that last sentence should say but not letting it show!

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