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How do things change?

(7 Posts)
Joannepink Sat 17-Dec-16 09:48:05

Help! I'm hoping someone has been in a similar situation or has a thought from an outside perspective.
My husband and I have been having difficulties for 2/3 years now, he's basically a good guy, I enjoy his company, we get on, I love him. But he's unable to take any responsibility on, he's gotten us into debt, he won't keep an eye on our finances. He's indifferent to the kids (2&5), if he's with them he's on his phone leaving them watching the telly, our eldest is autistic and he doesn't read any of the reports, discuss her with me, find out about her condition etc. We've been going to relate and I've said I feel I'd be happier on my own but we have kids to consider and I don't want to hurt him. But I've been very clear things needed to change. Yesterday was the last straw, he hadn't paid the credit card, wouldn't stand up to his mother, who can't accept our daughters diagnosis and believes it's bad parenting and a useless school. There were reports about our daughter I told him I'd found difficult to read, that they were heartbreaking. He didn't read them.
So I told him I wanted to separate in the new year, I couldn't before Christmas for the kids sake. But asked him to go overnight to give me some peace to think.
He left for a few hours but returned to help put the kids to bed, he was going to do as I asked but his mum told him to not leave things till the morning and come back last night.
We talked I made my feeling clear, he says he loves us and will change, but I've heard it before. If he would change that'd be great but I feel I've been let down so many times I'm unwilling to give him another chance.
So now he's home, wants to know what he can do to change, but I don't want him here but don't want to hurt him.
That probably makes little sense but if anyone has any ideas how I can proceed I'd really appreciate it.

Bagina Sat 17-Dec-16 09:57:41

Presumably you've already told him what he needs to change and he hasn't bothered himself to. How many more chances can you give someone? Is he just scared now that he's going to lose his cushy nest?

They're quite serious things as well aren't they? Not keeping family financially secure; not being interested in his own children; not providing support to you.

Surely it's harder work with him there? Does he have any additional needs?

kaitlinktm Sat 17-Dec-16 10:56:14

He doesn't sound much of a good guy tbh - what sort of good guy is "indifferent to his kids"? What does he need to do to change?

(1) Keep on top of finances - no getting into debt
(2) Take an interest in his children and parent them properly - no ignoring them and going on his phone
(3) Show an interest (ffs - I can't believe he isn't doing this already) in his daughter's diagnosis and support her in it (and you)
(4) Support his wife instead of allowing his mother to undermine her (he came back early because his mother said - never mind what you wanted).
You really do come second here don't you?

Trouble is, these are such basic conditions of being a spouse and a parent that if he isn't already doing them and has to be told to do so, then I really don't hold out much hope.

I feel that you know this and have already checked out of the marriage in your head but are just looking to guilt-proof your exit. You don't need to do this really - he has already given you ample evidence of the sort of person he is and, except for an initial effort of a few weeks, I would be surprised if any of this changed. However, you could spell it out for him, give him this chance and when (not if - when) he blows it, you can kick him into touch.

Cricrichan Sat 17-Dec-16 11:04:54

What is good about him? You've already told him what he needs to do and he's not a child so shouldn't need to be told. You've got enough on without having to mother an adult. Tell him that and stick to your guns .

ChuckGravestones Sat 17-Dec-16 11:06:01

So now he's home, wants to know what he can do to change, but I don't want him here but don't want to hurt him.

Are you not hurting at all? He doesn't seem worried about that.

To be honest, what is he going to change into? Someone who pulls their weight and gives a shit? If that isn't basic or standard in a relationship then why bother?

Humans are not caterpillars who can cocoon themselves for a bit and change into butterflies. They are just humans and presumably you have been together for at least 6 years so this is him. If it ain't up to scratch love, return it to it's mother and keep calm, carry on and one day you might find one that fits the bill.

Softkitty2 Sat 17-Dec-16 11:21:51

Tbh for change to work it must come from within and a persons willingness to actually change. Him asking you what he needs to do is not that.. He knows what he needs to do but can't be bothered. Also, him being a passive parent does not support you or the DC.

He has a lot of work he needs to do and do you actually think he can do it? If not. Move on

Joannepink Sat 17-Dec-16 12:15:20

Thank you I needed to hear all of that.
i think it's 1) hard to separate from someone you actually like and 2) I want him to change and I want to give him that chance but I don't know how, 18 months of talking, promises, trying for a few days, counselling.
I know I can't make him change, I've told him he should sort out his finances so he has something to live on in retirement for himself, he needs to take more of an interest in the girls for the sake of his relationship with them.
He makes me sound unreasonable for asking too much, not giving him enough time, not spelling it out so he know what I want.
In my heart I'm hoping a shock would spur him into action but I don't know how else to give it apart from asking him to leave after Christmas. But I know he want to know what he needs to do to come back.
I know I'm making no sense, my heads all over the place.

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