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marriage struggles- has any one come back from the brink?(24 Posts)
This might be long and also a bit of a brain dump... my thoughts aren't massively clear right now.
I have been with my DH for over 10 years. Have a two year old boy who is very hard work- spirited is the polite way of putting it!
I was made redundant earlier this year and we used the opportunity to relocate closer to my family. He was happy to do this and always knew I wanted to move closer to my family (I moved away with him because of his work requirements).
The move hadn't been easy- left a lot of friends behind and a nursery where my ds was thriving. DH also left a job he loved. DS' behaviour has got worse and he isn't settling well at nursery. DH does not like his new job but it's not easy to just get another one as he is a teacher. I feel like I have the best of the situation as I love my new job and get to see lots of DM and my dsis.
My dh really hates his new school and has a long commute too. My ds' behaviour drives him mad and although he tries his best he gets angry and frustrated - some times I think too easily. He makes passive aggressive comments which really annoy me. He seems to be turning into a grumpy old man at just 35. Everything annoys him or pissues him off. We both drink too much and I want to change that.
Today after a stand off with toddler about having a nap dh took himself off to his room to play on the pc and I had a few minutes to myrself with ds and for the first time I thought maybe life would be better just me and him... I feel awful for even thinking it.
My DH used to make me laugh like mad, I fancied him like crazy. Now I don't know what I feel.
He is trying with ds and with me. He took him out to do the food shop and came back with my favourite choc as a little gift and said 'I know how things are but I am trying'.
Things just seem like hard work all the time. We keep talking about having another baby as we would have liked DS to have a sibling but I am scared it may make things worse.
Has anyone else come through the other side of this? We have been through a heck of a lot together and I don't want our marriage to fail but I want to be happy too and right now I don't really feel it. Can anyone help? I know stopping drinking is part of the solution as I will at least think more clearly
At the moment you have a hard patch because your DH is finding himself isolated with a job he doesn't like.
He is probably regretting saying yes to relocating, is getting ressentful/angry/on hedge and is comes out in lots of different ways, incl having a short fuse.
The thing is, it's only him that can make the change.
He can look for another job, decide to do some supply teaching instead (that would do help him to try out different school, make his name known and therefore have more chances to find something he is more comfortable with).
I would also encourage him to get out and meet people. Through a hobby of he has one. Your friends if you still have some on the area etc etc.
And give him some slack (I assume you have moved only this summer?)
What I have picked up is that he is trying as hard as he can. So it would much more efficient to thank him of or all the good things he is doing, to concentrate on the positives rather than pointing out all th things he does wrong, get iffy etc. A bit like with a child really
Oh I wanted to say. I don't see anything in your post that is making me think it's not salvageable.
I hope so. Toddler eventually gave in to stand off and now dh is drinking and swearing at his pc... dreading ds waking up as he has had such a late nap he won't go to bed later, which will piss of DH and the merigoround will spin some more...
Teaching in a school you dislike is really horrible and then if you put a long commute on top of that, it's no wonder he's in a bad mood so much of the time.
Two year olds can be hard going, especially as it gets cold outdoors and you can't get them as tired in the daytime.
Stick with it though - he sounds like a really decent guy.
Your comments about your 2 year old being very hard work, and having a "stand-off" with don't ring quite right, only because it seems like you / your DH are trying to reason with him.... Not sure you can reason with a 2-year old - that can make behaviour much worse because if you give such a young child too much choice, they can't deal with it.
Not sure you're at the brink yet!
Tbh I am not liking the way your OH treats your son, he's 2 fgs and no need for your OH to be so aggressive.
Also, you initially moved for his job, now he has moved for you to be near your family, understandable when you have a child too; so he needs to stop taking his moods out on you and accept that in life and relationships compromises and sacrifices have to be made for the good of the whole family, you didn't take him away out of spite, it was for a good reason.
Buying you a choc bar wouldn't cut it with me, he needs to be a bit more active in making you happy too, not just himself, coming home and taking his anger and frustrations out on the family is just not on and I'd get that nipped in the bud right away.
He's a grown man, he can apply for a new job surely.
He's sucking the joy out of the pleasure of having a little one, yes they can be difficult at 2 but they can also bring you immense joy, shame he cant see that.
If this is the brink then I think a lot of posters in Relationships are way past the point of no return!
Have you had quite a harmonious relationship up until now? I'm not saying that things are great (they don't sound it) but this does sound like a fairly normal rough patch in a marriage, brought on by being the parents of a toddler (hard), a big move (harder - known to a stressful time), and unhappiness at work.
Are there many teaching jobs where you're living now? Could DH look for something else? Your OP makes it sound like the choices are limited. Unfortunately I think unhappiness at work can have a huge impact on home life.
Have you talked to him about how you're feeling?
The worst two years of our marriage where when dh was in a job he hated. God I can't even think back on it without wanting to cry.
It sapped his confidence really badly so talking him into even looking for another job took months.
And two year olds are hard!
The drinking alone at the pc is worrying though. Drinking to escape is never a good idea so I'd try and tackle that gently too.
imperial I think he is at heart a decent guy. I am trying to encourage him to look for a new job but he said it isn't looked on well if a teacher leaves during the school year?! I have no idea myself.
adora1 he is not aggressive with me or my ds and I wouldn't tolerate it if he was. It is more like sarcastic remarks or snapping at us verbally. I am frustrated with his behaviour but I think yiu are reading things that aren't there ... such as the grown man comment. He has been self sufficient since 16, done multiple overseas tours as a soldier and dealt with some extreme situations in his life. He is very much a grown man, just one who is struggling and getting a few things wrong. I can see that and I am living with him, I just don't know if our relationship is strong enough at the moment.
Yes we came back from the brink 5 years ago but it all fell apart and we split recently. Do something now, a change of life, a move or counselling do not leave it or it will fall apart. This os the precursor to splitting up.
I suggest counselling first to get an idea what everyone wants to do next and go from there.
* My ds' behaviour drives him mad and although he tries his best he gets angry and frustrated - some times I think too easily. He makes passive aggressive comments which really annoy me.*
That's aggressive behaviour imo OP but fair enough if you see it differently. It sounds like he has zero patience for children so I'd certainly not consider having another child with him.
Feeling a bit sorry for your H
Teaching in a bad school is draining and awful. He also left his friends/colleagues/nicer job behind. All for you!
So you should try and be supportive and help maybe? Or at least give him time?
Or is it that now you have your DM and Dsis for emotional support he is surplus to requirement? (Don't know if this is maybe an unfair question, but do you know what I mean?)
bue you are right, maybe I am being over the top saying st the brink. I suppose I am more concerned that it might be the start of a slippery slope.
We did have some very challenging periods in the early years of our relationship but the last few years have been great. I think part of it was we felt like we had the life of riley before ds- well paid jobs and lots of holiday. He retrained as a teacher to see more of ds and now we have a lot less cash. So its tough on lots of fronts.
Sorry Bue I didn't answer your question. I have said I feel like sometimes he doesn't like me very much when he males sarcy/snide comments and his response was 'oh god you don't really think that do you? I love you to bits'.... I asked about counselling and he said it isnt his thing. He isn't much of a talker about "stuff"
I'm married to a teacher too and it's an exhausting job and would be awful if you weren't enjoying it. I don't think he should leave this year but perhaps he should start looking seriously for something new for next September?
It does sound like counselling would be a good idea. It's a shame he's not open to it - would he do it for you if you pushed the issue?
When DH and I go through a stressy grim time we eventually stop stropping and do the boring shit of: stop drinking, eat healthy, take exercise, go to bed at reasonable o'clock, perform random acts of affection.
It is boring. It is the kind of thing your mum would say. But it is so true. When you are on the brink mentally, don't give yourself the extra stress that poor diet, sleep and drinking create.
What does your dh do for stress relief? Any hobbies or exercise? Would he do mindfulness, get an app for his phone?
I think his comment telling you he loves you is just lovely (after years with an abusive man I could only dream of hearing this)
What can you do to support him or take extra load? Can your parents babysit so he gets rest at the weekend.Also make sure he knows how much you appreciate what he has done for the family.I moved for stbxh, had this give up my career and his appreciation didn't ever feel genuine.
Resentment is a relationship killer so don't let that creep into your relationship and practice kindness.
2-3 year olds are difficult so consistent discipline will get you through it.
I am a teacher and had a year in an awful school so I can sympathise with what he's going through. I did a year of supply teaching before finding my current job. I was much happier but I found it a struggle trying to survive on a lot less money than I was used to. That might be an issue if you're already on a tighter budget than you have previously been. I got by by doing private tuition on top of supply teaching. If not, could he start looking for another job? I don't know if he's primary or secondary but there are sometimes vacancies throughout the year in secondary.
RNbrie yes I think we both need to stop drinking so much. It won't be easy.
Bue I think he would do it if I made an ultimatum but I think knowing his heart wasn't in would mean any sessions wouldn't be productive
Run that is very sensible advice. He stays up very late which I don't think helps but he insists that he is a night owl... He says he can function on little sleep but I think it catches up with him particularly now we have DS.
Has he only done half a term in the school? It can take a while to settle in and establish yourself somewhere new and he might feel differently as the year progresses. There are peaks and troughs in the school year. I have had times where it has felt like hell on earth but those periods pass. I think he's right to give it the year if he can.
You seem to have the answers yourself. Quit the drinking. Like you say It will help you see things more clearly. Is he on board with that?
I agree that it sounds salvageable. The hardest part in my marriage was the toddler years and working full time. I'm afraid we didn't last but then my ex would not have done the little things like taking the toddler shopping and bringing me chocolate. We had massive resentment and it grew. I always felt like we weren't in it together.
I think you should hang on in there but make sure you are on the same page.
The comment from a poster about less drinking eating healthier and getting good sleep gets a massive yes from me.
Me and dh went through a really rough patch recently and after the frustration with each other dies down we sat and talked a lot and both of us were fed up with the same things as well as finding work dc and normal hectic life a struggle and juggle.
If you have a calm mind and feel good it makes a heck of a difference to how you react and deal with other things.
It's worked in our home. Not saying it's always perfect as that's impossible as your two individuals but it sets a great base to start from.
Hi all. I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your advice. Particularly those who offered insight into the challenges and pressures of teaching.
Me and DH had a really long, productive chat yesterday. Knocking alcohol on the head for a bit, spending Sunday nights planning the week ahead so are less hurried and stressed. Agreed to try and schedule 'us time' to talk, once a week. Talked about everything under the sun for hours and actually had a lot of laughs as well as serious moments. It felt a lot more like how things used to be. Fingers crossed!!!
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