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Married to a Child

(24 Posts)
LJay28 Mon 12-Sep-16 12:30:00


I'm pretty sure this subject has been discussed hundreds of time but here's my story. My husband and I have been together for 15 years and we have been married 10 years (I'm 33 and he is 34). We have 2 children (7 and 5).

I guess our problems surfaced quiet early on in that I am the motivated / driven one and he's the laid back one in the relationship. However, it wasn't really that much of a problem because we were young and life was easy - fast forward to being a "proper grown up" and I've realised that we have grown up at different rates and he's a kid so to speak.

I do everything in the marriage / for the family. I mean everything. I work full time, am the main carer for the children, look after the finances, look after the kids education / daycare, book the family holidays, sort out their medical appointments, DIY / maintenance to the house and garden, buy all the furniture for the house, plan ahead for the future with investment property / pensions, sort the cars out etc etc. Sounds dramatic but it's absolutely everything. My husband has no responsibility and merely exists going about his day to day life / routine - gets up, goes to work, comes home and has dinner, goes to bed. I am not joking. Everything else in between is taken care of by me.

I guess you can say I'm his mum. I've tried to take a step back and let him do things without me having to ask him but he just isn't interested.

Our relationship is more like brother and sister as well. I'm not attracted to him anymore but do deeply care about him. He's my best friend and I love him but am not in love with him anymore.

If I could afford to separate, I would but I can't. I feel trapped.

I've honestly tried for nearly 7 years to make it work / accept who he is but I can't. We just keep having the same arguments time and time again.

Has anyone else experienced this or have any advice?

I don't know what to do.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 12-Sep-16 12:39:38

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

Have you actually ever sought legal advice re separation; why do you write that you cannot afford to separate?. What is stopping you, I ask as others may have had similar experiences to you and have gone onto separate.

Can you continue to live like this indefinitely? What if one of you meets someone else?.

Please do not continue to teach your children that a loveless marriage is their "norm" too. What are your children learning about relationships here, they are really learning a lot of damaging lessons and they will not thank you either for staying together for your own reasons. Sound travels after all, they have likely heard and seen far more than you care to realise.

One day your children will leave home; what then for you if you and this man are still together then?.

HandyWoman Mon 12-Sep-16 12:55:29

You've answered your own question by saying you would separate if you could afford it. How thoroughly have you looked into it? He would have to pay maintenance towards the dc and you would be entitled to more tax credits.

I'm not surprised you aren't attracted to him any more.

I think it's time to start planning towards living an authentic life as a single parent, rather than the sham facade of family life you are presenting to the outside world and to your kids (they are leaning from you how a family works and will likely reproduce this setup in years to come).

If you separate can have child free time to pursue a life of passion which is no longer there with your current manchild of an H. You can be whole person again, you e probably forgotten what that is over the years by shouldering every single burden.

It must be thoroughly demoralising.

I wouldn't have thought it possible either but I did it. I hope you can find a way to get out and go it alone.

sorbetandcream1 Mon 12-Sep-16 12:59:54

Does he realise how you are feeling about everything you've posted? Have you sat down together and had a frank conversation?

I wonder if there's any link between him not contributing hugely to the home/ family and you no longer being attracted to him?

I will probably get slated for saying this but maybe you need to make your expectations realistic (if you want to try and stay together). He is never going to be as driven, organised and focused as you. Would he do more if he did set jobs every week/ day rather than having to figure out what needs doing?

Agree with all the other posters...something needs to change. So wrong for your children to grow up seeing this. Sounds like you don't respect him anymore (understandly).

LJay28 Mon 12-Sep-16 13:03:22

Even though I work full time, I cannot afford to pay rent / pay the bills by myself. The math just doesn't add up. That's what I mean when I say I cannot afford it.

What do I get out of the relationship? A friend, a companion. Life is so busy that the weeks just pass by but I know it's not sustainable long term.

As for the kids, I certainly don't want them to suffer and they are never exposed to mine and my husband's discussions. I agree, however, that it's not doesn't set a very good example if I settle for a loveless marriage.

I guess I just feel trapped and do not want to be the cause of a broken family.

sorbetandcream1 Mon 12-Sep-16 13:05:21

If you split, you wouldn't be the cause of a 'broken family', he would.

You never know, he might be a better dad if you split.

PickAChew Mon 12-Sep-16 13:07:44

Him not pulling his finger out would be the cause of a "broken" family, as you put it.

What you have now is broken, though.

PickAChew Mon 12-Sep-16 13:08:47

And he would have to bear some responsibility for keeping a roof over his children's heads. That shouldn't fall on you.

expatinscotland Mon 12-Sep-16 13:09:33

'I wonder if there's any link between him not contributing hugely to the home/ family and you no longer being attracted to him?'

Ya think? hmm

It's funny, in all these threads, you get literally hundreds of posters coming in with how the woman can solve the problem of her partner not behaving like an adult who chose to have a family - frank chats, lower expectations, make lists and rotas, spa days, strikes.

Always wonder, who held her hand and taught her how to do it all? It's usually no one. Because, well, responsible adults don't need to be trained, chivvied, monitored, policed like a 3-year-old.

OP says she's tried for 7 years. He's tried for FA.

OP, you say you have investment properties. You can afford to split.

You need to see a solicitor and get some legal advice about it. This isn't working anymore.

expatinscotland Mon 12-Sep-16 13:11:38

I agree, however, that it's not doesn't set a very good example if I settle for a loveless marriage.

And have them grow up believing a woman's role in a marriage is to do everything whilst a man is free to clock off and check out after work.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 12-Sep-16 13:14:26

"As for the kids, I certainly don't want them to suffer and they are never exposed to mine and my husband's discussions"

They do not have to be directly exposed to it. They instead see the aftermath of rows between you and he; they pick up on all the unspoken vibes that you both give off towards each other. They know that their friend's parents do not act like this in their homes.

You need proper legal advice and someone to go through the finances with you. If you already know this is not sustainable in the long term then make the break sooner rather than later. You will have to do that because he being the person he is will not do so. You are going to have to be the grown up here. Your children know that things at home are not good and perhaps worse still even perhaps blame themselves for their parents troubles.

CodyKing Mon 12-Sep-16 13:16:07

Have you asked him how he would feel being a single dad? With childcare - clubs etc and him looking after himself - cooking cleaning etc?

Ask him - if you're looking after him and the kids and the house - WHOs looking after you?

SusieQwhereareyou Mon 12-Sep-16 13:58:49

I was in a similar situation with the additional factor of alcohol abuse. we are now separated. It wasn't easy and because in the surface everything was fine, it seemed easier to stay than go. But the relief I felt when we split was overwhelming.

expatinscotland I absolutely could not agree more. When I see advice relating the lists, rotas, manageable tasks...when I was in that situation I was already overwhelmed doing everything, so the solution is I have to organise everything he does too? I am never ever again going to be in a relationship where I have to write a list for someone.

HandyWoman Mon 12-Sep-16 17:44:06

I am never ever again going to be in a relationship where I have to write a list for someone

Amen to that.

I left a similar relationship. Except exH was also pretty unkind to me. And had a temper. On the face of it, though, in front of family and to the outside world, everything was rosy. What never fails to amaze me is how functional things can seem on the surface. When in reality things can be utter shite. With the burden usually falling squarely at the feet of women.

Find your power, OP, leave this manchild and live a more peaceful life. My exH is a marginally better parent since we split. Because he has to be and because he has to look like an interested dad to give the right impression to his new dp

Would you be able to split amicably, do you think?

category12 Mon 12-Sep-16 17:56:03

Have an affair.

I don't mean that, but really you're chugging along ok but unhappy in this situation because it's not bad enough and you're not motivated to change it.

You can live more cheaply without him, I bet - you would possibly be entitled to tax credits and whatnot - he would pay child support. Really look at the finances. You'd be surprised how much the bills go down without another gurt big adult scoffing everything and leaving the lights on.

pocketsaviour Mon 12-Sep-16 18:07:18

You'd be surprised how much the bills go down without another gurt big adult scoffing everything and leaving the lights on.

No kidding. My electric/gas bills were HALVED when I left my ex. His habit of accidentally knocking the thermostat onto full and then opening all the windows may have had something to do with that hmm

GoldFishFingerz Mon 12-Sep-16 18:23:01

Have you sat him down and shown him a list of all the things you do and all the things he does. Then asked him to make the workload even and ask which things he will take on? Tell him you are very close to ending the relationship as you feel like his mother

expatinscotland Mon 12-Sep-16 18:29:49

She said she's had numerous rows, discussions, arguments over this over the past 7 years. But she's expected to provide him with a list, ask him nicely to pull his weight and ask him also which tasks he might deign to do.

Seriously, OP, who gave you a list of all that's required to do as an adult who has chosen to have children? Who trained you? Did anyone ask you to make the workload more even, let you chose what tasks you're willing to take on? Monitors your performance of these?

Bet you if he behaved like this at work, he'd be on warning or worse.

messeduptotally Mon 12-Sep-16 19:57:07

Ljay28 - this was exactly me just under 2 yrs ago, I did absolutely everything for my DH (together 15 yrs) It got to the point I didn't even know myself anymore, didn't know what I liked - everything revolved around my manchild 'D'H
We moved house and I thought that would make us happy but it didn't, he was always at work or in the pub, I was always on my own, it made me miserable and I started looking and what we had in common - we had nothing in common. We had grown apart.
I put the house up for sale and left him, he even helped me to move out without a fuss, was very strange.
He then got very nasty with me, but now hes enjoying his single life again going to the pub while his mother cleans his house (grr)
Im happier on my own with my kids and doing things for myself.

YetAnotherGuy Mon 12-Sep-16 20:21:14

The worrying bit is that you aren't attracted to him any more

expatinscotland Mon 12-Sep-16 20:24:38

'The worrying bit is that you aren't attracted to him any more'

The worrying bit is her husband has no respect for her and seems to view her as a domestic appliance.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 12-Sep-16 20:28:11

It's great that she isn't attracted to a selfish knobhead any more, not worrying at all! You can move on from this op. The topic has indeed been done a thousand times before on Mumsnet, and there will be loads of threads with brilliant advice to tap into.

WickedLazy Mon 12-Sep-16 20:54:24

Could you go leave for a week alone and see how he copes without you, see if you miss him, and get your thoughts together? Even just stay with a friend.

KarmaNoMore Mon 12-Sep-16 21:02:58

You can stay, but you will feel progressively unhappy if you do. At some point the resentment of being in an unfair relationship takes the best of you and that is when the nasty stuff starts and when the children get damaged.

Would he agree to Relate? I think he needs a wake up call, but if you say you want out he is just likely to dismiss you as "she would never do that"

You are independent, know how to survive on your own and can take care of your kids, home and job on your very own. You will be fine if you split and happier too.

I have som money worries nowadays but, when I was married, it was as if I was dying inside, I took our relationship/my life one day at a time, while now is full of lovely things that do not cost much but make me very happy.

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