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Help!? Big DD turning on me?

(33 Posts)
AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 09:29:58

Please can I just have a rant? Because otherwise I will go and shout at my daughter and she has her last exam on Tuesday so I really don't want to.
I have a couple of previous threads, but in summary:
Realised a year ago that DH doesn't love, respect or care for me. I was distraught at the time. He has ignored me increasingly over about the last 7 years, has used my daughter as a TV companion until after I've gone to bed since she was about 14, which has driven a wedge between us because I haven't had a chance to talk to him on our own.

When I told them there was a problem and first asked him to go to relate (June 15) he said he would have more time after he had finished his exams. I didn't realize that he meant he would ignore the problem until he had finished (November) he took no time off over the summer, didn't help with the kids, reneged on the promise that we would have an autumn holiday as he went on a course instead. I visit my family ( 8 hrs travel away) and have to visit his too as they're nearby; summer and Christmas. Can't have my family here as he is awful to them. Same with my friends, only friendly if he feels like it, otherwise blanks them.

Trivialises my job, interests, opinions. Etc And yes, I've read a lot of stuff on emotional abuse now and it all sounds rather familiar.

Row yesterday: DH yelling that I just wanted to go and live in a house without hiDaughter is now telling me that she is really cross with me and her dad. That we just need to sit down and talk to each other reasonably, because we love each other(??) I did love him, but it's gone and I'm not sure now how long it is since he stopped loving me. In all our arguments recently though he has never once mentioned love. He just says we can't split up. I have tried so hard to pretend everything is ok for the kids this year, because of the exams. In particular I've been trying not to say anything negative about their Dad. But what has he been saying to her? And what should I say to her now?
If you've managed to read this far, thank you. It got a bit long.

ijustwannadance Sun 19-Jun-16 09:39:41

Why do you need to say anything to your DD? Why does it need to be his decision to split up? Let her finish her exams and make plans to separate. Doesn't like a relationship worth trying to save. Once he is gone you can start to rebuild relationship with DD in a happier environment.

ImaginaryCat Sun 19-Jun-16 09:50:55

I don't think it sounds like he's said anything to her. She's got eyes and ears. I was 15 when I asked my mum why she didn't just leave my dad. She was shocked and said they stayed together to give me a stable home. I laughed in her face and told her my home life was one of the most fucked up I knew. They separated 2 months later.
Give the girl some credit here. She can see what needs to happen and is probably sick of it being dragged out.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 09:55:49

She's making threats to never come home and see us if we don't work it out. I think he must have been using her as his confidante for her to have so much of an opinion.
Really I want to tell her that she doesn't know the half of it and to mind her own business. If we can't sort this out then she certainly can't do it for us. I feel so aggrieved that I've made so much effort to keep things on an even keel for it to be in vain.

0hCrepe Sun 19-Jun-16 09:57:43

I think dc can be quite naive about their parents, or at least hopeful that they do love each other deep down and can sort things out. There is no evidence of her taking his side but she loves both of you. of course she's not going to just see things from your perspective. But if you're not happy at all and you can't work on your marriage then separate but own that decision happily.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 09:59:33

She wants us to stay together cat
We haven't been arguing all the time, far from it.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 10:05:43

I have tried to work on it Crepe, but it takes two. It just seems really unfair that he checked out long ago really, but is now accusing me of wrecking our family because I can't take the way he's treating me anymore.
His reasons for not divorcing are: it's too expensive and what would we do when the kids get married? Certainly no mention of love.

0hCrepe Sun 19-Jun-16 10:12:31

Sorry I'm not saying you should work on it at all, this really isn't your fault and he can't stop you from separating if that's what you want and it sounds like the best thing. But your dd obviously just can't see anything other than her own need for her parents to stay together. She will be upset, yes, but you have to own your own decision to be happy alone and accept she will not like it. Very difficult for you.

ClashCityRocker Sun 19-Jun-16 10:17:25

Why would you want to shout at your daughter when it's your husband being a twunt?

Your daughter is not unusual in wanting her parents to remain together - it's a very natural reaction - although some teens do have the emotionally maturity to see that the situation isn't making anyone happy and is in fact damaging, plenty don't.

Fwiw I was devestated when my parents split - even though they were desperately unhappy, not faithful and constantly arguing. It changes everything, doesn't it? And it's OK for her to be scared of that, but she needs to understand she cannot make that decision for you.

Whatever you do, do not drag her further into it re the 'you don't know the half of it' side of things. I suspect you feel that if you do proceed with a divorce he will blame it all on you - which he may do, but for her sake, don't get roped into playing the 'pick me' dance for your daughter's support. She will understand in the future why you had to make that decision even if she doesn't now.

He doesn't get the say in whether you get divorced or not, btw, you can divorce him should you choose too.

ijustwannadance Sun 19-Jun-16 10:27:19

He means the divorce would be very expensive for him.
Kids weddings=seperate tables or being bloody civil for one day.

It has sod all to do with your child's opinion of wanting you to stay together. It's about you not wanting to continue with a non loving relationship. You deserve better.

eyebrowsonfleek Sun 19-Jun-16 10:30:41

I have a 15 year old (and am separated). I would say that he sees spousal arguments (in the absence of a specific reason like violence, infidelity, addiction etc) as something that can be sorted out like a sibling argument. The comment about loving each other deep down suggests that this could be her though process.

Millions of divorced parents have attended graduations and weddings. Lack of love and affection is a completely acceptable reason to divorce.

I think it must be very difficult to live with parents who are splitting. I can understand why your daughter is snappy and think that in her interests it's best to make a proper decision about the future and stop living in limbo. You can't stop your h badmouthing you but you have control over what you say. My advice would be to remain the same mum as usual. In the short term she might fall for her dad's drama but she will appreciate you being the stable one in the long term. (By the way, it's not possible to tell from the info in your post whether he is saying anything)

Isetan Sun 19-Jun-16 10:50:26

Your decision to stay with your H all these years isn't and never was, your DD's responsibility. It sounds like your daughter is just as, if not more so, a victim of your dysfunctional marriage as you are. The difference being, you had and have the choice to stay.

If the strategy of waiting for your H to check back into your marriage isn't working for you, do something different. Handwringing and getting frustrated with your daughter because of the terrible position that you and your H have put her in, isn't going to change things. As you've just begun to realise, there aren't any medals for martyrdom.

TendonQueen Sun 19-Jun-16 11:12:51

Which exams are these and how old is your DD? I think you need a heart to heart with her where, without gory details, you explain some of your feelings. I disagree with saying nothing - you can be 'the stable one' and still make it clear you are a human being with emotions of your own. It sounds a little as if she is following your husband's lead and you are seen as a kind of cardboard cut out, there for them and 'the family' but with no needs of your own. And I have read enough threads on here lately where dads have alienated children from their mums to think it wise to say nothing at all while he sets the agenda. Talk about what a future life where you all get on well, but don't live together, might be like.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 11:35:32

Isetan My decision to stay was based on the fact that I thought he loved me and I certainly loved him. This was right up until June last year when I could suddenly see that he didn't love me. Until then all the crappy behavior was because he was tired or stressed or he found it difficult because I went back to work or because I was too busy with the kids and I made excuses for him endlessly.. There was no question of me leaving until then and even then I wanted in my heart to work it out, I also wanted more than anything to not upset the kids in an exam year. So I don't think DD knew there was definitely anything wrong until a few months ago.

What I know she has learnt from my marriage is it's to be expected that women learn how to 'manage', placate and soothe their husbands through whatever they choose to chuck at us. Because that is what I was taught and have being doing for years (50's time warp or what) And I would dearly like her to learn differently before she does the same as me.

I'm posting on here so I don't get frustrated with her. I know very well it's not her fault and I have been doing all I can not to drag her into it.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 11:38:48

Tendon She's 18 and finishing her A levels. Yep, that's what I feel like - cardboard cutout and service provider. I'm exhausted. Totally at the end of my tether.

differentnameforthis Sun 19-Jun-16 11:54:05

But what has he been saying to her? He doesn't need to have said anything to her. She has obviously lived with the unease for several years, and kids do pick up on stuff.

I feel so aggrieved that I've made so much effort to keep things on an even keel for it to be in vain That's pretty harsh, op. No one asked you to do that! I am assuming you are actually free to leave?

Things "kept on an even keel" for the sake of the kids is always going to be in vain. To be honest, it doesn't sound like you like her much, because she is close to her dad. Sorry if that assumption is wrong, but I am only going on what I have read.

You mention that he won't divorce. He doesn't have to start it, if you are unhappy, you can do that too.

whattheseithakasmean Sun 19-Jun-16 12:00:29

You sound annoyed at your daughter in a way that I think is unfair. She is not to blame for your unhappy marriage and lack of love from your husband. You are annoyed your DH takes you for granted and feel your DD does the same. But I think children should be able to take their parents for granted, it is our job to look after them, especially when they have important exams.

Your DD is not the issue here.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 12:24:53

Different that couldn't be less true. I couldn't possibly love or like her more. We have always had a good relationship. Nor do I in any way blame her for her Dad using her as his confidante.
I've already explained that there hasn't been ' unease for several years' because while it all seems clear in retrospect- it wasn't at the time. I was more concerned with how late he was letting her stay up and whether what they were watching on TV was appropriate.
Yes she almost certainly has picked up on stuff over the last year, but what was I meant to do? Realise that everything I thought I had was a sham and pack my bags the next day?
No, I've tried to talk about it, been to Relate (even though he wouldn't come) Read anything that I thought might help. Had glimmers of hope when he was nice for a day or two and had them crushed several times.
And the only thing I feel upset about with my daughter is her saying that we just need to try harder and sort it out, because I have tried and tried.
As for children being able to rely on their parents when they have exams- I agree and it's what I've been trying so hard to do.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 12:36:06

And actually DD is appreciative when I do things for her so that was more about DH

Isetan Sun 19-Jun-16 13:48:06

Second guessing what your H may or may not have said to your DD is going to get you where exactly?

Start detaching from this man and begin thinking of a plan that moves you forward, not stuck in some vicious approval seeking circle. Use your time that your DD is preparing for her exams constructively and don't waste it waiting for approval or permission.

Your DD is not unusual for opting for the devil she knows (your dysfunctional marriage), over the unknown. All you can do now is start being honest; your marriage hasn't worked for a long time and unfortunately the opportunity to fix it, has passed. She may not like it, or agree with your decision but it is yours and not hers to make. Don't start trying to get her onside by 'setting the record straight' because that is just a repeat of the awkward position her Dad has put her in all these years.

Unfortunately, there aren't any quick fixes to being a child exposed to a shitty marriage. Focus your energies on building a honest and respectful relationship with your DD, while respecting that her acceptance of her father's behaviour is her prerogative.

If you really want to teach your DD about being strong and making independent choices, then you need start, by modelling that behaviour.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 17:14:40

That helps Isetan. I have a plan I have been working on. It is just when DD said that yesterday it made me waver. I really don't want to her to feel responsible for our mess. And I will say something like you have said above (I pad won't cut and paste for some reason) and you're right about the setting the record straight. I have resisted the temptation to do so, so far and I will carry on. Thank you

Isetan Sun 19-Jun-16 17:43:16

Your plan should also include having a safe place for you to vent and talk through your feelings (it may help with tempering the temptation to set your DD straight and seeking approval from your H).

greenfolder Sun 19-Jun-16 17:47:39

Your dh may not have said anything at all. My parents were miserably married. Some rows but mainly low level misery. Me and my siblings all knew and spent our childhood wondering when they would divorce.

AtTheEndofTheRoad Sun 19-Jun-16 20:42:01

I have some really fabulous friends in rl, but they have problems too and also it's Father's Day. Which is partly why I posted here, but more so, because there are so many different experiences on Mumsnet which is valuable in terms of advice. Thank you all.

amarmai Sun 19-Jun-16 20:57:49

As you are in the home with dd and h , none of us is a position to question what you see, hear, feel etc is going on. It wd def not be unusual for an h to dump the blame on the wife and mother . You will have to make the first move to get away from this man .Perhaps you can suggest to your h in front of your dd that all of you go to a counsellor, where you can then tell it like it is.Next move wd be a lawyer ,but get the necessary copies of the important papers before he realizes you are going to make a move.

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