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Can we work through this?

(10 Posts)
justabigdisco Wed 19-Oct-16 00:40:43

I would really appreciate some help as I'm not ready to talk to anyone IRL.

I'm thinking about leaving my husband of 7 years. We have 2 DC under 5 - the eldest just started school. We both have professional jobs - him FT and me PT. I believe he resents this and thinks that he works harder than me.

Nothing major has happened but we bicker. He is grumpy and (IMO) selfish. He shows me no affection - whether that be kind words, gestures of appreciation, physical contact of any description - unless he wants sex of course and then he's suddenly asking for 'cuddles'. Our communication is not good. We are like housemates most of the time. He does not 'do' emotions or affection and puts this down to a relatively cold upbringing (his parents are from a different country/ culture)

I'm not sure why but over the last few days I've started thinking that I've had enough. I don't want to live the rest of my life like this. However I don't really want to split up - I do love him and my ideal scenario would be that he could give me what I want. I'm not sure whether he can though, and maybe I just need to accept that and move on.

We had counselling a couple of years ago, but it made no difference. He always says 'I'll try harder' but nothing ever changes.

Has anyone been in this situation but managed to improve things?

Hahahollie Wed 19-Oct-16 05:27:35

Very tough to improve this type of situation as it would involve a character change. Has he always shown hints of these traits?

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 19-Oct-16 06:11:28

You could be me 5 years ago, but I was working FT. Everything family related was left to me. I then became ill, his response to have an affair.
We split, I have now met someone else who treats me with respect and is truly a partner. I now am realising just how badly I was treated and wish I had got out sooner.

justabigdisco Wed 19-Oct-16 06:48:32

Thanks for replying. Yes, he's always been like this. I thought I could put up with it but I'm increasingly thinking that I can't.

He does do more cooking than me and stacks the dishwasher more often. We argued about this last night - he genuinely believes he's hard done by because he pulls his weight in the kitchen. The first 5 years of our relationship he did nothing - it's been a gradual change for the better. However he thinks that he does more because he doesn't see / doesn't value what I do.

TheNaze73 Wed 19-Oct-16 07:19:35

Sadly can't see this ending well op. You both seem to resent each other with the almost point scoring that's taking place.

AmberEars Wed 19-Oct-16 07:24:15

Could you try a marriage course? DH and I went on one a few years ago and it really improved our communication.

It doesn't sound great OP, but on the other hand you are still in the tricky time with two very young children. I'd say most of us go through a rough patch and it will probably get better when the DC are a bit older.

pallasathena Wed 19-Oct-16 07:46:04

I think its better to be on your own rather than with someone who sucks the joy out of life. Yes, its hard when the children are so small but it should also be a seriously special time for you both. They are little for such a short time you should both be enjoying it: instead,there's resentment, tension, unhappiness and anger which children internalise no matter how hard you personally try to minimise the effect on you and your children.
Years ago I made the decision to get out of a marriage that was full of similar negatives and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Living with someone you don't really like anymore reduces you to a shell of your former self and is an awful way to live.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 19-Oct-16 08:25:47

Have you tried sitting down with a list of what you do and having a discussion?
I had to do this with my ExH.
It was all just getting on top of me and I was at breaking point.
He just didn't realise.
So we went through the list and allocated jobs evenly.
It was far better after that and he understood.
The fact he had an affair 10 years later was the reason for the split though.
At the moment you have many reasons to not want to be with him but unless he can see that and make changes then I'm not sure what more you can do!

justabigdisco Wed 19-Oct-16 08:39:41

We genuinely can't seem to discuss anything without arguing, and as a PP said, point scoring. Counselling did nothing to help in that regard. What is a marriage course? Is it different to counselling?

At the moment I want to try and save the marriage but I am starting to tip in favour of just sacking it off. I'd rather be on my own than live like this. There's no joy.

Hillfarmer Wed 19-Oct-16 09:18:30

Hi OP,

It is miserable. It's the Joy-draining thing that is the kicker here. You can manage all the hard work, but having no affection or smiles or just a sense of team work really kills the relationship. Have you had the 'crunch' conversation i.e told him that his grumpiness and lack of affection and support (except when he wants sex - which is really galling) is jeopardising your marriage?

Tell him you want to save your relationsip, but that it doesn't feel as if he does. What is he willing to do to repair the damage so that you can both be a team.

We both have professional jobs - him FT and me PT. I believe he resents this and thinks that he works harder than me.

I think at the heart of this is a misogynistic sense of entitlement and power. Underneath all this, he thinks that he should have the balance of power in your relationship and that you should be in a subordinate role because you earn less than him. His values seem to be totally skewed in his direction ie. that he is more important than you and his work should sweep all before it. It's as if, as soon as you have kids you have given up your autonomy and equality. That's what I felt with my XH - we were equal all the way along, then we had a baby and he unilaterally decided that I was not equal to him any more. He never admitted it, but that is how he treated me. I was in denial for a long time because I couldn't believe the 'love of my life' could allow himself to treat me like an underling. When I had exhausted all the other possibilities - someone who treats you like they have contempt for you does have contempt for you - I very regretfully divorced him.

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