Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How long have you managed to stay in a 'dead' marriage?

(16 Posts)
Dolphinsblue Wed 27-Apr-16 18:56:02

For various reasons I know our marriage has gone past the point of ever getting back to what it was. We're basically just living like siblings with our only common interest being our 2 dc (9 and 11). We pretty much do our own thing, sleep in separate rooms and only discuss the dc. We've been like this about 4 years. I can't see either of us leaving because neither want to leave the dc and I don't work so don't know how I'd manage financially anyway.
Has anyone managed to keep going like this and for how long?

Dolphinsblue Wed 27-Apr-16 19:00:05

Our dc are settled and I do think quite happy so I don't want to disrupt their lives with a separation but just want to know how others have managed.
Our marriage really has gone past the point of no return.

Summerlovinf Wed 27-Apr-16 19:15:58

Having married parents is not the be all and end can co-parent and have happy kids, especially if you are on good terms with the other parent. Having said that, I'm sure you could keep going indefinitely if you both wanted to and people do.

Lovepolkadots Wed 27-Apr-16 19:41:08

I'm in a marriage like this. We are like two polite soldiers who keep going for the children. We sleep separately due to his snoring.
Somethings got to give though in this kind of relationship. My breaking point was when I found out DH was sexting another woman and maybe more. What could I say though as we were virtually living separate lives.
I forgave him but regret it as after a short spell of being a 'proper couple' we are back to square one again.
I say and with hesitation. There could be someone out there who you will really click with. Make you laugh and cherish you.
I need to take my own medicine I know, but I suggest you be brave and me too and make a change to be free

Cabrinha Wed 27-Apr-16 20:04:36

Are you able to work?
If you are, make steps to be employable again - training, volunteering, part time work...
Because there's a fair chance that one day this is going to blow.

For me, I knew I wanted to leave when my child was 4 months old - I had said fairly strong (but not conclusive) evidence that my XH was using prostitutes hmm I knew then that it was when, not with.

I stuck it out for four sodding years hmm
Separate rooms, no sex, living largely separate lives.

For my child to have both parents together. Because my work shifts and travel seemed hard to manage separated. Because I couldn't bear to give up time with my child. Because I didn't want him meeting someone else whilst my child was so young she might have thought she was another mummy. Because I ended all physical interaction with him so didn't feel forced to end it to avoid that. Because I was on mat leave and my baby woke 8x a night still at 11 months and I was too tired to take any decisions. Because change is always harder than coasting along.

The only thing not a factor was finances as I've always worked and we had savings.

So... Four fucking years.

Then it got too much.
- I hated him
- I wanted sex
- I didn't want an affair (funny, my morality compared to his!)
- I didn't realise it then but I wanted to be loved and cared for and have an emotional connection with someone good
- I had a sudden moment when a friend was made redundant when I realised that my escape plan relied on me getting a mortgage (easy then) and if I got made redundant my back up escape plan was fucked!

- and the big one... I suddenly realised that at 4 years old, my child had never seen her parents kiss, touch, hold hands, hug, laugh together, smile together. I thought "if she accepts a marriage like this it will be YOUR FAULT". I sobbed for hours. And a week later cut loose from the arsehole.

I didn't realise how stressful it had been, in my loveless marriage until I was out of it. Don't underestimate that.

Now... I have lots of sex with a man who I'm crazy about and who thinks I'm amazing and we're getting married. My 7yo giggles "germs!" at us kissing, and sees what a loved up couple who care about each other look like. Not just the kissing - the little looks, doing things for each other, the laughter.

My best friend said: you've given that arsehole your 30s, don't give him your 40s too.

I'm happy, as is my daughter - with two parents that love her, and two step parents to be that think she's great and assorted step siblings too.

Now OK yours isn't cheating. But if you live separate lives but for the children one or both of you is going to want eventually.

When they're 18? Why would he stay with you then? Don't wait another 9 years to suddenly have to sort out your finances on your own going forward, when you won't even get a greater share as main carer (if you even would be main carer now)

Stay if you want, but cover your back: work.

nearlyhadenough Wed 27-Apr-16 21:59:44

My marriage has been dead for about 14 years (not much good before that either).

I stayed for my children - they have now just about left home (one is back and forth!). I made a choice to stay, others will think I was wrong.

It has destroyed me. I am in the process of trying to separate - H is in denial and refusing to accept we are over.

Don't be me - find a way out.

AnyFucker Wed 27-Apr-16 22:03:10

There are no medals for living a half life

Daenerys2 Wed 27-Apr-16 22:04:46

This sums up my relationship completely.

Annanentity Wed 27-Apr-16 22:19:02

4 years of living in separate beds ( my choice), separate lives, different personalities and polar opposite parenting styles...............feeling resentful and angry. Like previous poster, my DC never saw any affection between us and lived in an atmosphere of tension and total unhappiness (on my side).

We now co-parent amicably (we live in same villsage) and although he still irritates me intensely I find it easier to disengage... life is tough for me financially ( though I always worked part-time so I get by with tax credits to supplement my wages.

Life is immeasurably better and my DD so much happier. I couldn't have put her through any more suffering.

Cowboybilly Wed 27-Apr-16 22:51:34

12.5yrs op. Don't be like me. Lost my whole 30s

Out2pasture Wed 27-Apr-16 22:58:16

With your children 9 and 11, now is the time to upgrade and get a decent marketable skill. Should you eventually separate it will be helpful. If you stay together it will expand topics of conversation.
Could your lack of employment be an are of resentment and an issue between you two?

All0vertheplace Thu 28-Apr-16 09:47:13

I have a friend who is now divorced from his son's mother and is in a new relationship. The three of them (the adults, I mean) all get on well, have cups of tea and chats and even meals together, but at the end of the day they go home to separate households and are making separate lives for themselves. Apparently splitting up was the best thing that ever happened to their relationship, and their son (who has autism) has adjusted to the arrangement very well. Their story gives me hope that a split doesn't have to be an acrimonious car crash.

chillthefXXkout Thu 28-Apr-16 16:24:25

My parents managed this for years (from before my birth), they finally divorced when I was 11 - things became immeasurably better for all concerned. I grew up in the toxic environment of two people leading completely separate lives and being utterly miserable. They both found other partners and me and my sister learnt what a real committed relationship was from them settling with our respective step-parents.

The transition wasn't easy for anyone, but the best for everyone in the long term.

SiencynArsecandle Thu 28-Apr-16 16:44:48

Been like this pretty much since H had a cyber affair with a mutual friend 7 years ago. I tried and tried to get the trust back but due to continual issues, not helped by his personality disorder, it's been impossible. There is no sex between us due to his total lack of interest, we stay together as it's more practical. I'm seriously unhappy though and wonder if I will ever know what it's like to be loved properly and on an equal footing. I've started making plans to leave in a year's time though how I'll cope God only knows.

Find that strength, I'm sure there has to be a better life out there.

summerainbow Thu 28-Apr-16 20:44:58

I managed 8 years he walked out a week out after my youngest 18 . Took us nearly 4 years to get divorce sorted . Horrible. My kids wish one wishes we had left each other earlier but my other wanted us to be together and threatened stuff if I left him.

WendyWolf Thu 28-Apr-16 21:08:04

This thread feels so sad to me.

cabrinha Wow. Great words. I could empathise completely with your 'big' reason of your child growing up in that environment.

I have wasted 10 years of my life with soon to be ExH. Pretty much from the start I can remember having big concerns about his behaviour (lying/manipulating/hiding debts etc) but being constantly manipulated by him that things would get better and he would change. They never did. They got worse. I got to the point that I would feel physically sick if I was near him, his deceit made my skin crawl. He would never let me end the relationship - refused to leave or allow a divorce. I looked at my children daily and wanted out so desperately so they wouldn't grow up thinking that was what a marriage was all about.

The divorce should be through in the next 4 weeks. I've agreed to everything just to be free of his emotional games.

I know my children have suffered and divorce is another miserable time for them to struggle through but I cling to the fact that there must be sunshine ahead.

It's nice to hear happy endings like Cabrinha s, I may not be so lucky but at least I will be giving myself the best shot.

I also feel that a successful marriage that is beneficial for both partners, and for the children is ultimately based on friendship/trust/respect/honesty. If you don't have that what is the point?

Train/study/work though Op surely you need something for you? married or not.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now