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Reasons to stay together... ?

(25 Posts)
EdithSimcox Tue 28-Jun-16 23:01:40

I realised writing on another thread that I think I think that my relationship is really over. We are still together mainly because:

- We both think it's better for the DC; they will be completely devastated, and we can't bear to hurt them.
- We both thought this was for life, and we have tried really hard to fix things.
- I am scared of being alone, and lonely.
- I am scared of regretting it if we split.
- I have a strong sense of duty, and that staying together is the right (moral) thing to do.
- I have a romantic notion that being a 'proper' family matters, and I don't want to live with all the complicated 'modern family' baggage (we are already modern enough, 2 mums, no dad) .
- We have a big long and expensive trip planned for this summer which we were hoping would be fertile ground for rebuilding a stronger relationship.

Has anyone made it back from the brink in this circumstances?

EdithSimcox Tue 28-Jun-16 23:24:28

*these. Sorry for the typos,

Lostandlonely1979 Wed 29-Jun-16 09:20:02

Really feel for you. FWIW, I think it's definitely worth going on this holiday and viewing it gently as a kind of 'make or break' effort. Don't put too much pressure on it, but if it ends up pleasantly surprising you, then you know there's still something worth fighting for.

If it's dreadful then you can reassure yourself that you really have tried everything, and you've been trying for too long now. And you're exhausted. Your DCs will be okay in the long run. After all, what they need most from both of you is a good relationship model and individual strength of character. This is something I feel passionate about in my own situation, and it's why I'm not willing to keep on fighting for my marriage (almost alone) if things don't get better PDQ.

Also, during the trip, see if you can get some time away from everything. Being in a new place can lend new perspective, and also might highlight how you think you'll cope alone in a new place - metaphorically I mean.

On my thread, I've seen some people say yes - they absolutely have made it back from the point of alomst no return. But many of them have recently come out of the young kids wilderness, and I believe you said your DCs are a bit older.

Whatever happens, I really hope you can find happiness. flowers

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 12:59:44

New rules of engagement today, to try and get us to September intact.
1. Be kind
2. Don't argue
3. To achieve no.2, don't talk about us, or anything difficult at all. Put the lid back on the box. Keep it shut. Focus on the DC, holiday arrangements, a good view, nothing else.
Then we'll see if we've managed peace and harmony when that is our only goal, maybe we can go back to dealing with the hard stuff in the autumn. If we fail, we'll hold it together til September, and then start making arrangements to split up.
Anything had to be better than the daily rows.

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 13:01:13

Thanks so much lost. Exhausted is right. One more try though.

daisydalrymple Wed 29-Jun-16 13:06:49

Place marking to reply later this evening, we're rebuilding slowly, after serious breaking up talks.

HermioneJeanGranger Wed 29-Jun-16 13:15:12

I think if you both want it to work, it can work, but it will take a lot of effort from both of you and it won't be easy.

I think not talking about your problems/issues will only make things worse, though. Resentment will build when you get pissed off/annoyed with each other and can't voice it. You can still discuss problems/issues without arguing.

What are the reasons you argue and want to split up? Are they dealbreakers or just little niggles that have been left to fester? I think it makes a big difference.

flowers

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 29-Jun-16 13:37:36

"- We both think it's better for the DC; they will be completely devastated, and we can't bear to hurt them.
- We both thought this was for life, and we have tried really hard to fix things.
- I am scared of being alone, and lonely.
- I am scared of regretting it if we split.
- I have a strong sense of duty, and that staying together is the right (moral) thing to do.
- I have a romantic notion that being a 'proper' family matters, and I don't want to live with all the complicated 'modern family' baggage (we are already modern enough, 2 mums, no dad) .
- We have a big long and expensive trip planned for this summer which we were hoping would be fertile ground for rebuilding a stronger relationship".

Do you both really think this or is this really coming from you alone?.
All these reasons are really about you (and you as a couple) more than these children. Its somehow "easier" for you to stay within this for the above reasons, its your own selves that are keeping you within this and for your own reasons. Its not being done for them or with them in mind, its being done for you. What you are both continuing to show them here is that a loveless miserable marriage is their norm too.

How many times have you tried?. One more chance could well be your overall undoing. You cannot keep what is a failing relationship going here on your own. You cannot also act as a rescuer or saviour either.

What did you learn about relationships when growing up? Did you see similar as a child, is this what your parents modelled to you?.

TBH you sound pretty much lonely now within this let alone out of it. Its not your kids fault that the two of you cannot be together any more. If there are daily rows then continuing this till September is a bad move even though you have a "make or break" holiday. That holiday is going to be miserable.

There's never a good time to part and again you have reset the clock to a different time i.e. the autumn. Then you may well find some other reason e.g start of new school year, exams, birthdays, Christmas fast approaching to again put off what is probably now inevitable. Someone has to be the grown up here after all.

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 13:42:13

Yes HJG that is what our therapist said. But we've been going every week since September (and a couple of times earlier last year), this crisis has been going on over a year, and we still can talk without it turning into a row. We leave therapy bruised or fighting every week, we don't trust each other enough to properly expose our emotional vulnerabilities, and we need some kind of truce to get us through the summer when the DC will have no respite from us so must stop.

I honestly don't see what more we can do, this is really last chance saloon. Ultimately I think there are deal breakers which I suppose is why the hard work has made so little difference. sad

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 13:50:21

Attila all good points. But I think we can manage not to row on holiday, have a good time with the DC (and DP's extended family), and see where we are when we get back. Anyway, there is really no way we are cancelling it now!

My parents... Yes, my DM was fed up and unhappy for a while - a little older than me - but they stuck it out. My DDad is still devoted and looking after DM who now has dementia. 50 mostly happy years together. Maybe that's partly why I think it's worth weathering the storm if at possible.

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 21:24:12

I suppose the reality is that I swing wildly. Sometimes the idea of freedom is so attractive, and the pain of staying so hard. Othertimes leaving seems like such a failure, and I seriously doubt whether any of us would be happier apart.

Underneath the swings I think I'm coming round to the view that we will split in the autumn if the holiday-of-a-lifetime doesn't sort us out.

daisydalrymple Wed 29-Jun-16 21:25:20

Hi, everybody's situation is unique, so whilst I know our marriages will be totally different, I've given detail to explain what changed in me- ultimately I realised how much I love DH and want our marriage to work, so I realised I wanted to focus on making the future right and not going over what had gone wrong.

So I think at this point in my post, ask yourself if you do love your DH and want to be with him if things could be different. (If you don't, I honestly wouldn't bother reading anymore if I was you, as its long, rambling and utterly boring if of no relevance grin )

me and DH have been together 20 years, married for 10. 3 dcs (9,7 and 20months, plus amiscarriage in between dc2&3). I have an elderly parent with advanced Alzheimer's who i was helping look after at home until last year too. In a nutshell, from my point of view, I felt DH didn't give me any support through the miscarriage or caring for my dad and watching him deteriorate in front of me. I felt he made no effort with anything and didn't listen to anything I said. We were always arguing over the same issues. Not for a minute am I suggesting this is totally accurate, just why we'd got to the point we had.

A few months ago I realised I could no longer cope with the constant anger, and used to dread him coming home. And I realised that ultimately I love him. And the anger just disappeared. I'm not saying it's that easy, but I realised that all the things I was angry about were in the past. And continuing to be angry wasn't helping me move forward. I still needed to understand what had happened for me to feel unsupported, but I wanted things to work if they possibly could and needed to see where we'd both gone wrong. Once I'd stopped being angry, DH openly admitted he felt he'd been a crap husband, had totally let me down as didn't know how to support me, and felt I deserved much better. in fact, DH struggled to talk for a while as he couldn't believe I had just moved on and left everything in the past where it rightly should be.

It might sound like nothing has been resolved, but I do think it comes down to whether you still love each other and want a future together. I realised being angry / hurt / going over stuff again and again wasn't getting anywhere and realised one of us had to change to enable 'us' to change. So I wondered what would happen if I just looked from a point of view of moving forward and building a positive relationship (a bit like the toddler stage, praise the good behaviour, ignore the bad in a way, smile ) except this wasn't ignoring 'bad' behaviour as we both had valid points of view about what happened, but it's looking to move forward and realise to understand each other we need to do make changes in the way we behave / communicate. If I need support I need to say it right from the start instead of being stoic, battling on then feeling let down when the burden is too big.

I know I'm waffling, I'm struggling to explain, but keep trying, as I feel we've made huge progress over the last few months from where we were at. For us to move forward, it's been a case of letting go of the past, but recognising changes that need to be made, which acknowledge where / why things went wrong without rehashing any old arguments.

If nothing else, I hope to receive the MN award for most boring, rambling, unnecessarily long post ever. I feel I've said the same thing over and over but in a slightly different way each time. Wish I could be one of these posters who passed on pearls of wisdom in a succinct, intelligent manner blush good luck with moving forward, whatever it is you want your future to be.

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 21:25:50

Which makes me terribly terribly sad. I think perhaps I just started the thread for a handhold... not sure any advice will help.

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 21:25:50

Which makes me terribly terribly sad. I think perhaps I just started the thread for a handhold... not sure any advice will help.

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 21:31:09

x-post daisy that is helpful advice! (and I don't know why my last post appears twice confused )

How do you work it out though? I've been wondering for years whether I still DP, and I just don't know. I mean I do love her, but do I love her enough? And I can't reach a settled answer if I'm truly honest. Sometimes I just don't know.

daisydalrymple Wed 29-Jun-16 21:31:56

My epic post X-posted with you. I have to say, I'm not feeling the love coming through in your posts. Doesn't mean to say it isn't there though. I know it can get buried under so much other stuff sometimes. I honestly didn't know if I loved DH anymore when we were arguing so much, but when I realised I couldn't cope with how bad things were anymore and that something had to change, I knew I didn't want it to be a life without him in it.

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 21:47:57

I have said that so many times... and so many times I've meant it, or thought I've meant it. Perhaps if this truce lasts I'll be able to see what is left under the anger. I hope so, I don't want us to separate...

daisydalrymple Wed 29-Jun-16 22:14:32

The anger just clouds everything. I'm not saying me and DH were necessarily point scoring, but I realised one day I didn't need to 'win' the argument anymore. As, if I really wanted to be with him, and wanted our life together to work, that was what needed to 'win'.

Because I felt aggrieved, I think I felt it had to be acknowledged that I was 'right' (and ergo, he wrong I guess). But I finally saw that actually we were both hurting and we both needed to let go of stuff to move forward. Yes, DH did have a rant about ways I'd treated him / spoken to him in the past, but the majority of that was in response / retaliation to the way I felt he'd treated me, and having acknowledged that to myself I was able to apologise unreservedly for the hurt id caused him. (I realise now I'd been hurting so much it had t crossed my mind to look at things from his point of view and how I might be making him feel). (Somebody is going to come along and tell me to LTB soon I know grin ).

I hope you can both find your peace with whatever has led to the situation to talk calmly.

EdithSimcox Wed 29-Jun-16 22:40:18

Oh yes, point scoring too, we have every bad habit. And we are both hurting, but we are both failing at fixing this, despite endless resolutions made at counselling.

daisydalrymple Wed 29-Jun-16 23:48:46

Shoot me down for this, but maybe with the counselling, could there be too much talking about things? When that switch went for me and I realised I could leave all the crap behind and not have to drag things up everytime we spoke, I swear I felt the weight lifting. I feel so much better not carrying the baggage around, and I really listen to DH now and live in the present. So I don't take something that might have upset me previously And link it back to something else I can drag up too. It's a relief. I'm so much more settled for it.

EdithSimcox Thu 30-Jun-16 15:27:26

That's not dissimilar to something I wrote yesterday. The determination to not row requires giving up on being understood, and on winning and being right, but it does feel like a weight off. Though I don't think we've been raking over hot coals, the talking is about now as much as then. DP has already broken the deal, but I just agreed and all was well. Just have to hold my nerve for 9 weeks. Obv could be easier said than done!

daisydalrymple Mon 04-Jul-16 17:35:27

Hi edith not sure if you'll see this now, but just noticed it on my threads list again, and was wondering how you're getting on?

Summerlovinf Mon 04-Jul-16 17:46:56

'Putting the lid back' on is only avoiding the subject...it is not going to go away. There is no other way to sort this other than to talk about it - if you can't start trusting each other or revealing your vulnerabilities then there is no relationship, and no commitment to achieving one. Perhaps acknowledging that might help you make a decision. What is the significance of September?

Mrswinkler Mon 04-Jul-16 17:49:48

Have you made a list of all the positive things there would be if you split up?

I did pros and cons. Most of the cons didn't true but all the pros did. Win win situation as far as I'm concerned. We are both better off.

EdithSimcox Mon 04-Jul-16 21:56:37

Hi, daisy, OK, thanks for asking. 6 full days with no fight. Longest in over a year. And a couple of really good moments too. So maybe just creating the peace will enable us to create a foundation to rebuild some trust on. But it's early days!

I am willing to talk again, and I know that's essential, but we just need a break from it. Summer, September is back to school, we are away until then; there is a limit to how much talking we can do when we're with the DC 24/7.

MrsW, yes done that, all practical, very little fundamental either way. Temptation of freedom vs security of partnership... Not easy to tell except with hindsight which would turn out to be 'right'.

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