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I've procrastinated long enough. Help me start the conversation?(32 Posts)
Background: 2 DCs. With DH since we were young. We both have good careers and earn about the same. Nobody's fault but mine, I know, but I've been unhappy for years. We have no interests in common, no friends in common and no sex life. Our life is surface-comfortable and surface-fine but I don't love him any more, and haven't for some time. I'm not bitter or vengeful, there's nobody else, I wish him nothing but good things, but we're not right and I need to start the conversation. I have had counselling (alone) and I am certain I want to end the relationship and do not want to continue in it.
But I am awful at this - such a people pleaser, I find conflict so scary (which I know people who are OK with conflict will find pathetic, but it's just how some of us are wired). So I need to finally be brave now. I'd really appreciate help to find the words.
Oh and I'm terrified of my parents' reaction. But that's secondary.
"I know this is going to be difficult, but I haven't been happy in our relationship for a long time..."
Where do I go from here? I need to keep it about me and my feelings, I don't want to even hint at blaming him because it's not remotely his fault. He's constant and steady and hasn't changed a bit, really - it's me. I had doubts on the wedding day, and should never have married him. It's only counselling that has clarified that for me.
I want us to - eventually - be able to be friendly co-parents. So if anyone has any wisdom for me, I'd be so grateful.
I was in your position several years back (with kids too) except my DH was a dick.
I hope I can help a bit. How old are your kids?
Have you any thoughts on who you think should leave the house?
It's me initiating the change. I should leave.
He's absolutely devoted to the children and is a very calm and rational person so I know that when the dust settles he'll want what's best for them. I'm envisaging 50/50 split of time with them. The thing that's kept us together is our parenting: we're completely on the same page with it.
Also, thanks loveyoutothemoon They're 7 and 9.
Are you going to rent somewhere?
The parenting thing is good, it'll give you peace of mind when you are apart from the children.
It's going to be tough for you all, but sounds like it's for the best and he sounds a reasonable guy, so hopefully it'll all stay amicable.
Only tip really I have is never talk negatively about each other to the kids and no point scoring.
abbs perhaps but I think that'd be wishful thinking. In a lot of ways I've become a very closed person and I don't think he will suspect that this is coming. He's quite, I dunno, a big believer in "The One" and Love Lasting Forever. I've always kind of suspected he's like "I've hooked her now, that's that done. I'll load the dishwasher and we'll watch The Good Wife on the sofa, and I'll give her a blow by blow of my day at work and that's my Marriage badge completed and she's mine forever."
Fuck I'm such a cow.
Long story short, no. He knows it's not perfect but I think he sees the underlying "us" as eternal somehow.
loveyou I would never, ever bitch him out to the kids. Unless he's so hurt that he changes COMPLETELY I can't see him doing it to me either - We've always been uber consistent and united-front with them and I want that to continue as far as possible. He's a great dad and they are very much loved.
That's why I want the guidance - I know I have to hurt him but I don't want to twist the knife or cause any bitterness which would sour our relationship as co parents.
No advice unfortunately, but wanted to say I'm in a similar situation.
My DH also seems to believe I'll be around forever no matter what. I've tried to talk about it but he either doesn't engage or else seems to listen but then acts as though the conversation never happened.
"I've been unhappy for years. We have no interests in common, no friends in common and no sex life."
Wanting to be happy doesn't make you (or me) a cow. Maybe your husband is too dense to notice these things but is he really not bothered by your lack of sex life etc?
How big is your house?
Do you have another room you can move into? I would say "Sadly I no longer see a future in our marriage, we have nothing in common apart from the DC. For now I'm moving out of our bedroom until we sort something else out"
It's tough but better now than when you end up meeting someone else, having an affair and so on...
I feel like the things which make him happy - predictability, safeness, comfort - are all served by our marriage. He's alright Jack. I like those things too, to an extent, but I also like laughter, culture, spontaneity, sex that maybe - just maybe - involves the lights being on and goes on for longer than 5 minutes. It used to be I felt I was pestering him for it - now on the rare occasions it gets initiated, it's him that wants it and I don't. Well, I do. But not with him, that sexual spark is long long gone.
So the reason I feel like a cow is that part of my reasons for wanting out is I'm bored to tears, and somehow that feels like it's not valid. You read so many things about how marriage isn't all breathless sparks and fireworks, and we should just grow up and work hard at it, so sometimes I feel like wanting something a bit more interesting than Terry & June and matching sweaters makes me really shallow. "Working hard" at a relationship always seems to mean working hard at the boring bits, not the fun bits! Like what makes him happy is correct and what makes me happy is just me being a silly little girly romantic.
God I don't know.
Is writing it down a way to start it, or is that awful? I'm much better at explaining myself in writing.
Just to start the conversation? A short letter which he reads with me there?
The kindest thing you can do for him now is to be clear and unambiguous. Don't tell him you'll go to counselling if you have already made the decision to leave, and it seems you have. If you have made the decision that your relationship is over, that is the message you need to give him - no beating around the bush, no false hope. The only thing you can give him now is compassionate clarity - don't let him waste months or years of his life in limbo when he could be grieving and moving on.
I can't speak to the legal aspects but I would research them, and mediation services. I would pick a night to do it. I would bring a friend (your friend, not his or a mutual one) into the cone of silence and tell them that you are going to do it that night. I would write a script for myself, if necessary, and find a line I can return to if he wants to get lost in 'why?' or 'you can't', such as 'I know this is hard, but I can't stay in this relationship, so we need to talk about what that means for us'. And when you're done, I would repair to the spare bedroom or the couch.
He is going to be angry at some point, and he may well hate you for some time. Let him. It's a part of grieving - and he will probably feel like he has lost face.
I think you need to just say "can you come and sit down, i have to talk to you" and say it in a serious manner. Then say why you ate not happy, what you expect to haopen etc.
But i do think if you haveny given him any warning ir a chance to change, its quite unfair. Cant you tell him the issues and see what he has to say? Go to relationship counselling? Im only saying this as i can be hasty and just make decisions and then later think "maybe i should have warned him/given a chance to change". Surely you owe him that much?
It's not about giving him a chance to change. It's not his behaviour, it's who he is. I can't make myself love him - that's not how it works. There are no "issues" - if only it was that simple. If it was about "you don't pull your weight" or "you're lazy in bed", he could change those things, but it isn't. We're just fundamentally different and while I'm fond of him and wish him no harm, I just don't love him.
And I know that I shouldn't have married someone so different from me, but we are where we are. I was really young and I did it for stupid reasons, thinking I would grow into it or we'd both change to fit each other or something. He was my way of showing my permanently worried parents that I could make good and sensible decisions and be a good middle class girl and that they didn't need to be stressed about me ending up a penniless artist on smack. A crappy reason to marry someone but in my defence I didn't realise what I was doing at the time.
sarahnova thank you - that's really lovely and helpful. I know what I have to do. I've spent 2 decades being Mrs Agreeable, Mrs Nice, who can talk to anyone and get on with everyone and I've just developed a huge block when it comes to speaking my mind and telling the hurtful truth. I need to rip the plaster off
OP...there was or is a thread about people wanting to leave marriages that are basically ok but just not enough ..if that makes sense.
lots and lots of Mns on there saying the same thing as you.
And lots saying it isn't about 'working at re-igniting the spark' as they just dont want to any more. the spark cannot be re-lit in all cases and its ok to not want to.
Currently going through the same although he's not blameless and neithrr am i. You sound surface level harmonious but we were'nt (though more civil now).
I personally think impatient as you are you have to work up to the conversation if indeed he has no clue. Is he truly existentially happy or following the marriage script? If he reflected on it would he feel similar. The less traumatoc and the kinder the better. My current favourite is 'branches of a tree growing apart' . It's heart breaking. No one is to blame . There is a thread now on those who left deeply unsatisfying marriages. Have a look , there's lots of us.
Crossed post with red jelly bean..
OP ...also i married me exdh for all the same reasons you did ( except the artist on smack thing !) and i thought he would be the calm, sensible, dependable foil to my ambitious, driven, but spontaneous adventurer....no he just bored me rigid and over time i adapted to be the dull, middle class wife he wanted, he was and probably would still be very happy to be plodding through our nice middle class existence while i silently raged inside....i was the ultimate people pleaser and it took all my courage to end the marriage but so glad i did.
Ok, well, you've made your decision, im sure you can think of the right words to use. Better do it sooner rather than later..
I'm on the other end of this (my DH left 6 months ago, no one else, nothing i've done etc.) It has destroyed me and I don't think my self confidence will ever recover. If he is a good man then he deserves for you to try every avenue before calling time on your marriage.
madamehooch I'm sorry to hear that.
But the logical conclusion to what you say is that somebody has to be miserable, right? Either the person who wants to leave can't because of their feeling of responsibility for propping up their spouse's happiness, or the spouse is "destroyed" by being left.
Would you have wanted your ex to have stayed just for you, even if it meant he was extremely unhappy? (Of course I understand if you don't want to answer questions, it's obviously really painful and raw for you, and forgive me if I'm out of line for asking.)
Just another POV my my perspective / experience. Don't be surprised if he isn't the calm, level and reasonable man yoy are expecting him to be during and after the split. Regardless of who's right,,who's wrong and who's done what etc I still think you'd be wise to get your 'ducks in a row' in case he plays this the hard way.
I may be being overly cynical but I honestly think you need to let go of the guilt a bit. Your marriage sounds over and that will NOT be a one sided blame, however much it feels it now. Protect yourself as a woman and as a mum. JMHO.
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