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Did you tell your partner all the reasons why you wanted to separate or did you fib for an easier split?

(20 Posts)
FranGoldsmith Sun 14-Aug-16 10:23:07

A friend and her husband split up a few years ago. He was a difficult man to live with: very fussy, negative, moody.

She had attempted to talk to him about their problems several times over the years, but he would never acknowledge her concerns and he just got defensive every time.

When she told him she wanted to separate, she couldn't see the point in going over all his faults again, only for him to deny it all again. She didn't see the point in wasting her energy. She knew him well enough that he would only argue his point all over again, and not acknowledge any responsibility for the state of their relationship.

So she simply told him that she didn't feel the same about him anymore, and she wanted to live on her own. And she left it at that. Well, it drove him mad. He didn't feel that wanting to live on her own was a good enough or real reason to give up on a marriage. He pushed and pushed, he became convinced she was seeing someone else (she want, and still isn't - she really did just wasn't to live on her own). Because he never acknowledged he might be difficult to live with, he couldn't get at all why she'd want to leave a marriage just to live in her own.

Anyway, I'm thinking back on this as I'm considering my own situation. My husband has passive aggressive, obsessive, perfectionist traits. And we don't have sex anymore either. I've tried many times to talk calmly and rationally with him, but he just stonewalls me. He becomes determined to argue his point of view and be proved right. Or he tries to shut down the conversation as fast as he can. It's utterly pointless trying to have a grown-up conversation with him.

I have many, many examples I could give him for leaving him, but it's pointless. He will minimise them all until he leaves me looking silly and petty with no good tangible reason for breaking up our 20-year marriage. I'm starting to think, even though my friend's husband took it so badly, that her method seems much easier and much less exhausting for me. "I don't feel the same way I used to; I think we've grown apart; etc." Cliched cop out?

Those of you who have done it already, how did you broach it? Were you totally honest about all your reasons, or did you take an easier route?

TheNaze73 Sun 14-Aug-16 10:59:20

All of your reasons are perfectly valid, he'd drive most people to distraction & on top of that, no sex??? 99% of people wouldn't put up with that. Just be honest & direct & most importantly decisive if you're going to do it. You should op. Good luck flowers

Isetan Sun 14-Aug-16 11:18:54

Not listening is a choice and it served them well until it didn't, the risk with that strategy is that when they decide to listen pretend to be interested, it's often too late.

In both cases the H's weren't prepared to listen, which is their prerogative but it's neither you or your friend's responsibility, or within your power to make them.

FranGoldsmith Sun 14-Aug-16 11:27:01

Thank you both for your replies.

Isetan, yes that's what I'm thinking too. I've tried several times to address our problems and it's just frustrating. It's one of the reasons I don't bother talking to him about anything other than the superficial anymore, because the thought of that conversation - again - exhausts me.

HandyWoman Sun 14-Aug-16 11:46:09

Not a cliched cop out, in fact it's the best, most grownup way to go about it.

You don't need your H's approval to leave the marriage, or even his agreement.

The stonewalling/not listening is because he thinks he has all the power. Well you can now disabuse him of that notion.

If you think about it your many valid reasons for ending the marriage boil down to

'I just don't feel the same about you any more and want to separate and live apart'

In fact I would file for divorce first then use the stuck record method. Keep repeating the above phrase and refuse to get drawn into any further discussions except those bout finances, property, dc. Even those can be just done via solicitor.

It's not the way I went about my split. But then I was in a really bad place and pleaded with him to see how shit things were for me. He was never gonna see it, somethings didn't realise until I later had counselling.

You sound in quite a good place to end it calmly and assertively. You have more than enough reasons. He's had enough chances to engage with you on this now it's time to move on.

Good luck flowers

Hotwaterbottle1 Sun 14-Aug-16 11:46:49

Hi, maybe you could write him a letter and put all your reasons in that and just refer him to it. He can't argue back and forth with a letter and maybe it will sink in one day?

ravenmum Sun 14-Aug-16 12:31:20

I tried writing a letter. I'm not sure he even read it. But that doesn't matter, as what he thinks is no longer my problem.

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Aug-16 12:35:25

I would wait until he was giving a really good display of not listening to you and then say, "I can't do this any more. I can't be with someone who doesn't listen to me. I want to live separately now."

He needs to see a cause and effect.

Jeeve5 Sun 14-Aug-16 12:49:07

Hi Fran,
Some valuable posts above.
I'm slightly further advanced in the process but similar circumstances.
It appears that you have raised your concerns over the years.
In my situation I then focussed upon my objective of the swiftest most amicable divorce possible.
Adopting your friends approach has helped achieve this😃.
Plus after such a long wait I've never had the 'am I doing the right thing '!
Best of luck to you 💐.

gamerchick Sun 14-Aug-16 12:56:44

You don't need his agreement to end a relationship. My ex knew why I wanted rid, he's a cunt and I told him he was a cunt. He still took SOME getting rid of though. abusive dickheads are like one of those rodent glue traps, well sticky.

FranGoldsmith Sun 14-Aug-16 13:11:23

Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to share your thoughts and personal experiences.

I'd really like him to recognise how it is for me, living with him, but I know he won't. Handywoman, thanks for what you said - it's confirmed that there isn't any point in trying to get him to acknowledge anything from my point of view.

Oh and I already did the letter a year ago smile He went through it point by point and minimised every single one. I was left feeling silly and like I had kicked up an emotional fuss over nothing. It was weeks before I realised how clever he had been.

I think the most amicable method is the best approach, as you say Jeeve. He doesn't accept criticism at all well - in fact, he becomes intent on proving wrong whoever has slighted him to the point of obsession (that includes me, colleagues, managers, etc.) - so an easy exit is probably best for me.

HandyWoman Sun 14-Aug-16 13:18:44

I disagree he needs to see cause and effect. He isn't a child. He understands English. OP has raised concerns. He chose to ignore. Now is not the time to hope he will see the light. In fact will possibly go through life saying 'I don't know why my wife left me'.

Go for it, OP. flowers

OMGSame Sun 14-Aug-16 13:18:46

I'm in exactly the same situation OP. No advice but wishing you well. I'm working up the courage to do exactly the same thing.

FranGoldsmith Sun 14-Aug-16 13:24:10

Thank you, OMG, wishing you all the best too.

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 14-Aug-16 13:33:42

You've tried everything. So did I. I tried for 2 decades.

You've actually told him the reasons, time and again. You are left with the main and final one, he won't address these reasons.

It took MN to point out that I didn't need his permission to divorce him. The reasons - or some of them - were listed on the Unreasonable Behaviour section of the divorce petition.

3weeksthankgod Sun 14-Aug-16 14:08:27

I think it's best to stick to, it's over for me. Exh only listened to me a year after he left when he decided he wanted to come back. He fell over himself trying to do things differently. Sadly it was too late for me as my feelings had gone.

I never told him some of the really personal stuff though as it felt cruel eg lack of hygiene.

3weeksthankgod Sun 14-Aug-16 14:09:46

I don't think he'll acknowledge any of it op unless he is genuinely scared of losing you.

SusieQwhereareyou Sun 14-Aug-16 18:44:54

I told my husband repeatedly over the years that if things didn't change (alcohol issues), it would destroy everything. Yet when I told him it had got to that point, it was like it had come out of the blue. He didn't care while he thought he was getting away with it, and so didn't listen to me.

8FencingWire Sun 14-Aug-16 19:03:27

I just turned around and gave him the date I was leaving. He wasn't listening. he was acting as if I was 'having one of my moments' how he delightfully put it.
I didn't explain myself, I didn't engage at all, just did my own thing.

liletsthepink Sun 14-Aug-16 19:11:20

Op, it's better to say 'I don't love you anymore and I want a divorce. You'll be hearing from my solicitor soon'. That way you are being very clear about what is happening and that there is no way back for the marriage. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?

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