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open letter to my husand(33 Posts)
Before we discuss the next 18 months and the move back home we really need to talk about the elephant in the room, us.
It can't have escaped your notice that we don't talk, live like flatmates, show little to no affection towards each other and live increasingly parallel lives. We've become more and more detached from each other as the years have passed. This level of emotional and physical detachment leaves me feeling completely indifferent to us. Our relationship does not set an example of what a happy loving relationship is to the children.
The more time goes on, the less I know about you. I have no idea what your personal plans for the next 5 years are, or where you want to be at that moment in time. I don't know what things in life you find important apart from work. It certainly doesn't feel like I'm important, more like I'm convenient. I don't feel respected. You left me and 2 small children waiting in the cold for 30 minutes outside your work when you decided it was ok to give a client a lift to the station. You had agreed to have the car there at 3, I was walking there at 3.50 which is when you called me to tell me it wasn't there. I needed it to pick YOUR parents up from the airport. You then didn't seem to actually understand why I was angry with you and that it isn't ok to do this. On the not very frequent occasions I want to go out with friends in the evenings you think its ok to turn up from work at the time I need to leave. Or you just forget that I'm going anywhere at all despite reminders. Or the countless times I have come to pick you up and you have left me waiting, sometimes for the best part of an hour. You don't put in the excessive hours solely to be a provider, but work is your main focus, the thing that makes you want to get up in the mornings.
It's not that we don't get on but we are so far apart on so many levels, we currently exist as a convenient friendship and nothing more. Getting married was a deal breaker in me coming over here and whilst I understand that you don't really care about marriage as a thing, this has also translated into feeling like you only did it to get me over here not like you actually love me enough to want to make a lifetime commitment. There is absolutely no emotion there, just practicality. Same with changing my name. Your reaction to it made me feel like I just shouldn't have bothered.
For my part, a lot of what I feel is resentment. For not insisting on complete joint finances years and years ago. For having to give up my job which I loved to move out here. For being the one who has had to sort everything out since we've been here as you are always working or away. And that comes first for you. For your complete indifference when I was having such financial trouble that I had to switch our daughters nursery days so I could work from home to make it affordable (your comment of get another job then didn't exactly help my feelings or the situation). Your verbal reactions when things need to be paid for ('I have to pay for everything') really show exactly how you feel about money - what you earn is yours not ours. I do not feel equal. We are not a unit.
I'm not saying by any means that this has all come about as a result of one of us. We are definitely both to blame. I'm terrible at opening up communication but that is also because I feel shot down quite frequently when I voice my opinion. I know I should have been more forthcoming with things I wanted and needed earlier in our relationship and for that I can only apologise for not making myself heard. I know I'm a people pleaser and that too often I let things slide that actually really bother me. When we were on holiday you made a very rude comment when I was getting changed along the lines of 'christ, look at that!'. I felt belittled and upset. I told you this and you told me I was being stupid for being upset. I should have stood my ground and had that argument with you. Instead I think I just cried.
I don't know where we go from here or what your perspective is on the things I've just said. But whatever happens things cannot continue as they are. You are never here and when you are we are no more than flatmates. Something needs to change before we can decide on the path for the future.
I think so. But I'm a bit scared to. It will devastate my kids if we separate. It might devastate me if I can't get to where I need to be in life.
Personally, I would open a bottle of wine tonight and talk through all of this stuff with him...you say you don't really communicate, that's the big step you both need to take before doing anything more drastic!
What do you get out of this relationship now?.
All your H ultimately cares about is him and having his own needs met. I think he knows all too well how bad things are but he does not care about you or anything or anyone else.
Why do you think the children would be devastated?. I think your children would be more relieved actually than devastated if you were to separate; this is not an emotionally healthy environment for them to grow up in. They are learning about relationships from the two of you; what are they being taught here?. Do you want to do your bit to teach them that a loveless marriage is the "norm"?.
Better to be alone than to be so badly accompanied.
I think your letter is very clear and your thoughts are well articulated. IME it is really difficult to explain oneself that well in a face to face discussion, partly because it is hard to find the right words and partly because the other person tends to interrupt.
I'd show him the letter.
It will devastate my kids if we separate
It will devastate your kids if you don't. This is not a loving relationship, it's almost like you're both going through the motions until one of you breaks. Please don't let this misery be your childrens' picture of what a loving relationship is.
Op good letter
But please have a plan in place and a coping strategy for when he dismisses it out of hand.
There's a lot of heart and thought gone in to this, may I suggest you get ducks in a row leaving wise if you don't get the desired reaction. I sense disappointment ahead for you lovely so please protect yourself when you get indifference and blame back
Thank you all. boogers yy to going through the motions. And guilty sell the house in the uk, take a lump sum of cash in place of his pension then see if I can buy somewhere small for me and the dc in the town by the sea that's one town along from my folks.
Glad to hear it op will you be taking guests?
guilty as long as they don't take me for granted
Christ, I've just had the revelation that we've done all this before about 2 years ago just before we got married and moved. And nothing that I asked for has changed. Nothing
Someone tell me what ducks I need to put in a row before I address it again. I need a concrete plan.
I could have written that.
I'm now divorced.
I could have written that too. We've split up, moving out in a few months time.
I held it together so I can save a lump sum, so my kid can finish school. I only did it for the childcare he had to provide whilst I was working. And paying half the bills was cheaper than paying all the bills straight away, gave me time to build a nest.
So. It'll be fine.
How to line up the ducks:
- firstly gather your ducks - get a grip on your financial situation: what equity/assets you have (if you are in the UK you have equal ownership of everything he owns); what income you might have if you split (take into account maintenance etc)
- secondly, think about what you want the row to look like: how would you like to live after the split? where will the children live for what proportion of their time?
- thirdly, find someone to help you arrange and glue the ducks in place: scout for a good family solicitor and mediator
Enough for now. Good luck.
So mortgage, possible savings, his pension (mine is pretty much non existent ), how much he and I both earn, copies of wills etc?
I would need to find out about an expat divorce in the English courts. We are both British just living in europe. I want to bring the kids back to UK with me. All our families are there plus he's a workaholic and frequently away so hopefully I'd have a reasonable chance.
This is all seeming rather huge. I have no savings at all. I bet he does though.
Re the Ducks, Does this involve moving to another country? if so, he could prevent this. Is he paid in the UK? does he pay taxes in the UK ? it will effect how much CM he can be obliged to pay. (if he decides to make it difficult
Think about the age of the DC's, when & where is best to change schools.
Find out what you are entitled to, make an apptmt at CAB, find a SHL, you can get a free half hour with some & gauge how confident they make you feel.. suggest divorce counselling .
Take your time, he may make promises to change, it is unlikely he will succeed.
Leave, be happy.
I don't think we have cab here. We are in europe. Don't want to say where as it could out me. I do have some budget left through an expat spouse support network which I might use to access legal help. I need to find out more about expat English divorces.
I know I should have been more forthcoming with things I wanted and needed earlier in our relationship and for that I can only apologise for not making myself heard
I wouldn't apologise for anything, you have nothing to reproach yourself for.
If you decide to talk through all this with him, by all means remain receptive to hearing what he had to say, but please don't be subservient to him or let him gaslight you into believing it's all in your head.
Equally, don't let him suddenly grovel at your feet or promise you the earth and give you a load of hollow promises just so it doesn't upset his convenient little world. That will be his main priority, how it affects him, not you or your DC.
For what its worth I think your letter is very clear and articulate - I think trying to talk him through it could be really tricky as he is most likely to respond in ways which might side track you and you may end up feeling that you haven't got your point across - if it were me I would give him the letter when he has some time to think about what you are saying - then ask him if you can sit down and discuss it. The most important thing is getting him to ''hear' what you are saying - often when emotions are riding high and people are feeling hurt.
Take care of yourself first and then you can take care of your children - putting there emotional welfare first is important but you can only do that by looking after yourself.
If you do need to go get some free legal advice first - know what your options are - www.thefamilylawpanel.org
Don't send it , it gives him a massive heads up and his ducks are already sorted so to speak, take quiet control of your affairs as others have said , find if you can take kids etc but do it all on the down low.
I'd get your children home first, as you don't want to be stuck in another country unable to move them.
I would be very careful about taking your children from one country to another without your DHs permission. That is not advisable and it could be distressing for your DC to be removed and separated from their father. He hasn't been abusive towards them or you OP, he has been very self centred. You aren't in a situation where you are having to escape from danger right?
Have the honest mature conversation first, get his reaction and then you can build a picture of his mindset, before making any drastic moves breaking up the family. But stay realistic about what he says versus what he means!
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