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Can you come back from indifference?(18 Posts)
Quick background, together for 19 yrs, married for 17yrs and have a 12yr old dc. Always thought we had a strong marriage and we understood each other very well. Last couple of years however I have had a niggle at the back of my mind, sort of ‘is this it’ and put it down to a mid life thing as I am in early 40’s, dh is mid 40’s and we have the usual stresses with house, family, money etc. Same as everyone else I suppose.
Thing is this niggle has become more constant and most days now I realise I am deeply unhappy in our marriage. I have physically changed a lot over the past year (for the better) and have tried to busy myself with hobbies etc as I know I cannot rely on just my dh to make me happy. The general unhappiness still remains though. I am self-employed but work has slowed quite a bit lately so I have managed to get myself a second job which I am enjoying even though it is quite hard work and this will ease any money worries. If I have had unexpected bills in the past dh will help me out if I ask but I can tell he does begrudge doing this so I prefer not to ask. Our finances are separate, I pay a set amount into his bank account every week which covers the cost of the mortgage, he pays all other household bills.
Our dc has a sports hobby that is quite a commitment for all of us and there will be an opportunity for her to train abroad next year, we all knew this about 3 years ago and have all been looking forward to travelling out for this camp as it would be our family holiday for that year (we haven’t been on holiday for the past 4 years). My dh helps out regularly with the training and enjoys it. I have to say as a dad he is very involved and interested and our dd adores him.
On the weekend my dh came home from training to say that he has volunteered to help out for a few hours each day on this camp abroad next year and that his expenses for the trip would be covered. He then said it would be ‘easier and cheaper’ if just he and dc went to camp and I didn’t go. At first I was shocked that he would even consider going without me after we had been looking forward to it for so long, then I realised that he simply doesn’t care if I am there or not. I would be paying for myself so the cost would not be an issue.
I am not sure is this is the last straw for me as I feel totally numb and bereft. We went to bed last night and I could not stop myself crying, lying there wide awake whilst he was out like a light.
I feel totally superfluous to him even though I have made my entire life fit around his work (shifts that change every week) and our dc’s schooling, aswell as dealing with the vast majority of housework/cooking etc.
He knows I am unhappy but has no answers other than to cook a few meals and expect me to be ‘fine’. This husband of the year act usually doesn’t last long.
I tried to broach the subject of how unhappy I was and that if things don’t change I can leave when I get a couple of months rent money behind me and his response was a very angry ‘so you hate me so much all you are staying for is my money!!??’ I am working 2 jobs so how he thinks I am after his money is beyond me even though he brings in over 3 times my salary.
He tells me he loves me every single day but not sure if thats enough anymore.
I am sorry, I don’t know exactly what I want from this post. I am not sure if I want to stay, not sure I even like him very much, I am torn.
My own parents divorced, very bitterly after 18yrs and when I have talked to my mum all she says is what a good dad he is etc, etc. I know he is a good dad and I would never hinder any parent/child contact in the slightest. I feel guilty for putting my daughter is this situation as I clearly remember the fallout from my parents divorce and it was horrendous.
I never in a million years thought I would be considering separating, does it sound like there is any way back from this or is it over when you get to the numb, indifferent stage?
I am very very sorry for your unhappiness. I do not know what to say that will help.
It must be very upsetting for you that your husband just wants you to stay behind while he and your daughter go on the holiday/camp.
One thing I feel sure about though is that your daughter needs you too. Go to the camp too, other wise it will set her and her Dad into a separate unit apart from you. That is too much of a burden for her. It will make her like her dad's special little companion and she could even feel she was splitting you up. It would be a kind of emotional incest in my opinion.
Could you try to do some other activities with just you and your husband to see if you and he could be closer? He did say "So you hate me so much" Do you think he really thinks that you hate him, but underneath wants you to love him?
You said you have been married for 17 years, together for 19. Your parents separated after 18 years and it was difficult. Is there any chance that this terrible unhappiness you are feeling right now is being increased by a sense of that original separation echoing now you too have been with your husband for the same length of time?
My two penn'orth. First, the holiday. Is there any kind of holiday you've always wanted to go on but your H wouldn't like? Cruise, special interest holiday, a week exploring a city, a bike tour of somewhere like the Loire Vally, the Italian Lakes, New York - anything at all. Could you go on a holiday like that while they go to the training camp? You would have to explain to your DD that it's not that you're not interested in how she gets on, it's just that you'd be a bit lonely if you go to the camp, what with her training and her dad helping out. Depending on her age, you could also point out how much of your own life you've put on a back burner for her dad and her, and that you'd like to do something just for yourself for once.
And after that... You could try repeating to your DH how unhappy and undervalued you feel and suggest couples counselling.
Or you could see whether doing more just for yourself regularly would make you feel better about the situation. There are people who stay in relationships but live semi-detached lives and seem quite content.
But if you think now, or find later, that you couldn't live like that, then perhaps you do need to consider separating, including the logistics.
Sounds like there is a lot of resentment in your marriage. And that he thought things would be more stress free if he went away on his own with your DD.
It doesn't sound like a massive issue as an outsider looking in. Maybe you're seeing it as a bigger issue and just need space from each other more often?
Thanks Kindogs, not sure if he really does think I hate him, I cook lovely meals for us all,tell him what a good dad he is etc so for him to say that really shocked me. I will admit I don't put up with as much crap as I used to and pull him up on it now which he does hate e.g. I organised a chores rota so that it wasn't just me doing the housework and I know he resents this.
Thanks Patty, yes I am currently thinking of going somewhere with other family or friends, just sad that when I go on holiday I would choose to be with dh and dd but he obviously doesn't feel the same.
Considering counselling but the possible expense would deter dh straightaway.
Thanks Moon, what with my second job I am not around as much so maybe he will start to miss me on his days off. I am sure to a lot of couples separate holidays is bliss but its not somerhing we have ever considered before, maybe we have both changed, who knows.
Maybe it was just this holiday? Doesn't mean you can't go to others together?
Yeah Moon, he meant just this holiday. However we havent been away for the past 4 yrs and have all been looking forward to next year. He has never booked a holiday in all our years together, its always been me doing research, planning etc.
He has said about getting a cheap last minute deal later in the year but I know my dh, and he has no intention of actually doing it.
Think the answer is to just think fuck him and do whatever I want from now on, that has certainly worked for him. Feel so sad for my dd
Find a holiday and tell him you're booking it now. He sounds very lackadaisicle! How annoying.
Maybe he's thinking that as he is now "working" every day at the training camp it won't be much of a holiday? (Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt).
If he has said to get a cheap holiday later in the year, take him at his word and book something. Then ask him for his card to pay for it, seeing as he offered in the first place!
I think you are maybe focusing on the holiday too much. You have been detaching from him mentally for a few years and perhaps he has noticed and is now detaching from you. It's a dangerous game because detachment can lead to contempt and it's very hard to come back from that.
If he tells you he loves you every day, I assume he does.
It must therefore be very hurtful for him to hear that you're unhappy and talking about raising rent money.
Of course you don't have to stay if you're unhappy, and you can't help how you feel, but to him this will feel like death by a thousand swords. I know I would struggle to live with a partner who made it clear he was trying to decide whether to leave me or not, what a terrible stress to live under.
Maybe he has suggested that you holiday separately because he thinks you would prefer it. Maybe it has upset you because you are not yet ready to give up on your marriage. Counselling could help you reconnect or separate if damaged beyond repair.
Hang on, firstly, do you WANT to go on this holiday? If so, why him suggesting that you don't come has just been accepted as fait accompli? What would happen if you said "thing is, i am coming, i have been looking forward to this and i want to be there for my dd" and sod whatever he thinks. Who made him boss?
My story is almost identical to yours, married 17 years together 19. My husband became very resentful of me, no matter what the situation he never backed me up (work or family life), and this resulted in me completely losing my confidence. I did go home one day and just said i want you to leave, id rather live in a tent broke than accept this is my life. He left without a fight, which pretty much confirmed what i suspected (we'd simply fallen out of love). A year later i met my now o.h, and have never felt so loved and valued. Sadly my ex-h has become a sad bitter old man.
I don't think that you should go on holiday separately. You were looking forward to this family trip. Why should you be banished to some other holiday while they go on the trip without you? Tell him you want to go, was expecting to go, was looking forward to it and that you are deeply hurt that he doesn't want you to go. Don't cry secretly while he sleeps. Cry in front of him, show him how much he has hurt you.
Now then, money. You are a married couple. You shouldn't be in a situation where you run short of money and he bails you out but resents it. What happened to "with all my worldly goods I thee endow". Your finances should be joint. Go on the trip and make sure the money comes out of your joint money, not just yours.
I think your marriage is salvageable if you want to salvage it but you will need to stand up for yourself a lot more.
So joint bank account, joint decision making, no more secret crying, tell him when he has upset you and be really specific, don't make vague remarks about being unhappy, say why.
Consider counselling. Relate is possible but only if you feel able to be brutally honest in front of him. I think some assertiveness counselling would be really good for you.
Thank you ladies for all of your advice, it has given me lots to mull over and highlighted how passive I must seem in our relationship. I do feel myself detaching and do not know how to stop it when he seems oblivious to how hurtful he can be sometimes. I will try spelling out specific reasons of why I am upset as he tends to just go quiet and wait for me to get over it and never really sees me in tears, visibly hurt. It seems obvious now that we have terrible communication.
Thank you again
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