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When the changes aren't enough.(8 Posts)
Long time lurker - first post. I'm sorry that it will be long!
I've been with my husband for almost 9 years, and we've been married for 5 years. We have a 3 year old and 6 month old. Some of the details will be a bit outing so I've tried to include some important bits (well, that feel important) but I've had to leave some details out.
Having had some bad experiences in relationships before we got together, I took the lack of drama etc to be a good thing. He was funny and made me laugh - different and a relief from past relationships. I was always the more sensible one and organised everything. I see in hindsight that I always set the goalpost for the next thing to happen in our relationship - getting engaged/married/having kids etc - and organised things alone. I'd like to clarify that this was not in a bullish type way, but he lacked any drive in organising stuff so I just ended up taking on that role myself, and he would be free to engage or not.
He really wanted kids, as it I - part of my attraction to a partnership with him as I saw how good he was with kids. Unfortunately I didn't realise the difference at the time between this and making a good husband/father. It took a while to get pregnant with our three year old and we had fertility investigations as part of it, which revealed PCOS but no issues with his fertility. This was crowed about by him and his side of the family and was really hurtful. I went on Metformin, got pregnant and his first exclamation was 'is it mine?' - having never given him any reason to think such a thing this has stuck with me as a really hurtful comment. I used to bend over backwards for him prior to that pregnancy. I had a FT job with long hours and then a difficult pregnancy physically, with bleeds etc - he made me go alone to the hospital after a big bleed at 11 weeks, would make me walk around NT places when my pelvis was hideously painful, and also would moan and groan if I had to go for any check ups (bleeds or limited movement) and asked for him to come too.
When our oldest was born she went to NNU for a couple of days. I had just got her back when he invited his entire family up, I asked him to give me some time with her but he ignored this and they took her off me and passed her around like a doll for an hour, taking photos. I felt unwell at the time and was having an iron infusion whilst they did this, and started crying as I was so exhausted. They ignored me and he did not protect me. He would send me off to BF in a corner (though was supportive of my BF as it saved money!!). His family unjustly blamed me for some birth anomalies that she was born with and he did not defend me.
He would also disappear for hours at a time after work, so I was stuck with a permanently breastfeeding baby (literally permanent, it's been a very different experience this time around!) - I felt unable to put the baby down whilst I made food etc. I was awake every hour feeding, up early and she cst napped in the day. I wish that I was exaggerating. When I reached critical point at about five months I told him that unless he pulled it together we would leave. He did for a while and then it slid back. I started to get myself ready to leave and then I decided to have a really big reality check with him and give him one last chance when she was 14m. I said that we would give it 6m. In my head I was already gone I think.
Our sex life was none existent at that point - it had never been very exciting or plentiful but probably three times since she was born. We had sex once (!), got pregnant, had a MC at 10 weeks. He was uncharacteristically
He has a very old car that he considers a classic as it's from the 1980s - it's not, just pants! - that I cannot drive as I am too short (!) - I have a car but prior to this reliable one I had a couple of near bangers, and I have been left with no transport on several occasions and needed to borrow a car from my parents. He has said for several years that he will sell it and get a second car that I can drive so that this doesn't happen - I am now just doubtful that it will happen at all. Already this year the date has been moved from April to September, month by month, and it'll only carry on I think! He chucks money at it and I think that he is hoping that I will just say to keep it. If he actually drove it I would be more sympathetic, but he usually takes mine anywhere if I am bed with the kids or at home when he needs to go out - it's very annoying! Also we can't fit both car seats in it so it needs to go by the time that I go back to work in a couple of months.
Talking of going back to work - I now work two long shifts a week, rather than three, so that I can be around childcare wise. I don't mind organising child care, but he does the occasional week on call as part of his job and it's a nightmare as he has to be nagged and nagged for his on call rota so that I can make sure that there is cover for when I am at work. He was controlling over my time out of the house when not at work - once our first was a year old I started going out for dinner once a month, but he would set a deadline for me to be home (say 9:30pm, but I'd leave at 6pm, travel for an hour to meet said friend, travel back left me with very little time).
These issues are not all of it, but I'd be here a long time!
I think the crux of this is that I have got stronger and even though he's improved and made changes, some things have stayed the same and he continues to keep himself as the main priority. I look back on this and I understand how we got to this point - but I just can't do it any more. He is a lot better than he was and he is a good and attentive faith to our oldest now, and I suspect with time that he will be the same with our youngest. I feel cross with myself that I put up with his immature and selfish behaviour before, but once I had a child/children to consider I realised that they deserved more.
He talks to me curtly at times, i explain that this is rude but he doesn't get it and continues to do so.
I have been feeling unhappy again for a few months but a conversation about two weeks ago made me see that this situation hasnt really changed fundamentally. I have been building a role for myself within a team at work and there is a two day course in London after I go back to work. It will be my only chance to do this course as it is part of a sort of project (can't be too specific, sorry). I don't want to leave the kids for that time (it is very far from where we live) and we were planning to go to London anyway (apparently - I'd asked him if we could do some fun things in my mat leave to help deal with the issues from the postnatal period) so I suggested that he take some holiday (of which he has plenty left) and come along to have the kids whilst I am at the course (normal working day period) and we could do some sightseeing either side of it. He said that he didn't want to and that was the end of it, even though I explained that it would be my only chance to do the course. It made me realise that I will never be a real priority for him and I just feel really sad about that as I could have just gone and never given it a chance. I don't want to sacrifice my life, and I want my kids to know that relationships should be more than this!
I can't see this lasting. I have tried so hard and I don't want to have this out yet again, pour all of that emotional energy into changing things and have it slide even further back. If it wasn't for the kids I would have walked a long time ago I think. Made more complicated by the great relationship he and my oldest have, although realistically it's 'Disney dad' stuff and I have to organise the minute elements of everyday life - I have tried to help him to empower himself with this but he can't be bothered.
Thanks for letting me rant, and I apologise for the ramble! It's not all of it by far. I suppose I know that I'll leave, I need to get my ducks in a row first. The house deposit was from a small inheritance of mine and that makes feel cross too, as I know that he will want half of it even though I will definitely have sole custody.
I suggested that he take some holiday (of which he has plenty left) and come along to have the kids whilst I am at the course (normal working day period) and we could do some sightseeing either side of it. He said that he didn't want to
When our oldest was born. I had just got her back when he invited his entire family up, I asked him to give me some time with her but he ignored this
He doesn't sounds like a good person fundamentally, surely a decent person would not do such a thing even to a friend/a distant relative and you are his wife! Your life would improve a lot without him.
Are you in a position to leave? Hope someone with practical advice will post soon.
He sounds really uncaring and I really think that leaving sounds like your best option.
Having said that, I don't think that him refusing to bring the kids to London when you are on the course is unreasonable. You say it's a long way to travel and that you are the main childcarer. I think travelling long distance to a strange city with a toddler and a baby where you are expected to look after them alone most of the time when you aren't the main carer sounds like an absolute nightmare.
Please please still go on the course. I know you don't want to leave the kids but you think long term. They need you to prioritise your career more than they need you there for those two days. That way you can leave him and give them a happier home.
smurfette thank you! Since I posted this I have been thinking about historical things from our crisis point two years ago (that he knows are still an issue for me as they reflect a lack of respect and kindness in general) and also some more recent things. I thought that I'd mentioned this in the OP (but I was cutting things out as it was so long!), but a couple of months ago I'd found out that he had lied to his workplace for an extended period of time and was facing a disciplinary for gross misconduct, likely sacking. With a new baby and also having been very ill postnatally I was worried about the impact on the family, and wrote a statement with/for him, bullet points and told him to present it with a hefty slice of humble pie at the meeting. Thankfully they were impressed with it and he kept his job. I was fuming. I look back on it and if the issue had come up now I would leave, no doubt about it - it was a massive lie. I felt so vulnerable at the time, and he told me not to tell anyone about it, so I had no outside opinions at the time.
DeathStare thanks for your reply! I was asking him to come with me, rather than bring them alone, as work will pay for my fuel and a certain amount towards a hotel so it made sense to try to make a trip together then so that it could be subsidised, as well as childcare. Also my parents have since offered to come along (I can't remember if I mentioned this in the OP) so I offered again to see if he just wanted to come and spend time, but he basically doesn't want to go. I mentioned the possibility of leaving my oldest here with him for two days and he could take holiday, I would take the baby as he is still BF. He doesn't want to take any holiday to look after our eldest (she would be at nursery for one morning of it).
I do 12.5hr shifts, two a week. Before this mat leave my oldest was usually looked after by my parents for a shift in the week, then he would cover a weekend day or night.
Ironically he was meant to be going away next month for a whole week with work, and despite having free range to pick the dates between him and his mate they didn't bother to do it in time to get accommodation (recurring theme!), so now they are going in September. Still haven't decided dates. Naturally I will cover all of this. Even when not on mat leave this has happened before, and I had to cover the childcare.
So sorry if any of that sounded like I was drip feeding, it's hard to explain without it getting very long!
Also, he has made some decisions that have an impact on our family/the future without any discussion whatsoever - last month he decided to take a high risk pension rather than the normal one. My pension would be expected to cover any shortfall. He's also changed jobs without any discussion before. Gah, sorry!!
I'm so aware that I'm not perfect, but I pour so much energy into making it all work and that is fine, but what I don't want to do is to support an overgrown man child alongside it.
I have decided to leave, I am going to save some money in cash as I can see it potentially getting messy as he will try to cling to the house himself. I would prefer him to leave but at least I know that I will have enough for a rental deposit if not.
I feel very tired of him swinging up and down - he was nice as pie yesterday, then back today. I am fed up of the broken promises.
Thanks so much for reading and responding, both of you! X
He sounds very controlling, demanding you be back by 9.30 from dinner. Don't move out, he should. His family sounds foul and he seems totally unsupportive.
Why are you together? There's literally nothing stopping you leaving this relationship which isn't serving you. Why don't you leave?
Also, nobody should have to change to please another person. You accept somewhere the way they are or you don't. This is why "changes" don't stick - because by and large normal people can't help but being authentic. At least he's not a sociopath.
God OP I find your post exhausting! You must be at the end of your tether. You've already said what you want to do and it seems like the right thing to do. Sounds a bit like my marriage. we are post break up but still in limbo, I'm hoping it won't go on for too long. Life is too short.
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