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I don't know if a separation is what I want

(8 Posts)
doiwantadivorce Wed 28-Dec-16 14:18:28

Namechanged, obviously.

Bear with me, I am so unsure of what I want and how I feel and what is going on. Please be kind, even if you just think I need to be told to get a grip or feel like typing ltb or want to make confused faces- please just don’t. It’s taken me ages to get this posted. I can’t cope with any of the above right now. I just can’t.
I have been with dh almost 13 years, married 11 and half. We have three dc, the eldest 10, the youngest 2. I don’t know what state our marriage is in right now. I am certainly not feeling positive about it. I don’t know if it’s all my fault or all his or a bit of both, if there aren’t really any huge problems and I’m just having a bad mental health moment, if I am totally unreasonable, if he is. I don’t know. I feel very tired of it all, and quite sad, and confused.
I find him lazy, but he would not agree. I feel that I take responsibility for almost everything and he takes responsibility for very little. He goes to work, he collects the dc in the evening, he often goes to Aldi with a list I have written, he sometimes does specific things I have repeatedly asked him to do which are within his capabilities but not mine (such as fix a broken ceiling light or take something to the tip as I don’t drive yet), he generally does housework jobs if asked. I go to work, I get all the dc up and ready in the mornings and to the various places they have to be, I organise and plan everything, I do most of the housework because I notice it needs doing and get sick of asking. We share cooking but it rests with me to organise it, if that makes sense.
I find him moody and bad tempered. I am no paragon of perfect behaviour either but neither is my default setting face-like-slapped-arse-grumpy. He seems to make an effort to be less so when I point it out to him with great force, but it slides back very quickly.
Pretty sure he would benefit from seeing someone about mental health issues, but he will not. And given that 1)I work in mental health and 2)have dealt with my own mh issues for years, I am clear that he has the capacity to take some responsibility for his own emotional and mental health and is not crippled by depression or anything else. I think counselling would help him manage his relationships better and understand why it affects everyone else when he’s being a total grump, and would certainly mean he is less often irritable and bad tempered with the dc, and would help him understand how communication works. I think it would help him feel better too. I don’t think he is in danger of harming himself or others, or unable to function due to a mh issue.
At the moment I just feel like the future is one long, bleak greyness. I don’t have any confidence that he understands there are, from my perspective anyway, huge problems and we are teetering on the brink here. We had a number of huge fallings out in late summer and the autumn in which I made it extremely clear how I felt about his laziness and grumpiness. I have gone to the extent of writing a list of every single thing I do and organise that he doesn’t (from day to day ‘ensure dc have clean dry clothes ready for next day’ stuff, to ‘manage tax credits claim’, ‘manage childcare arrangements’ type stuff). I have tried to communicate, I really, really have.

He does not cheat and hit us and disappear for days to get drunk. He thinks that means he cannot be a bad father or husband, from what I can make out. He thinks I am a nag (I am, because nothing else gets results, but not as much as I could be because half the time now I cut my losses and don’t even bother as it’s not worth the effort). He thinks I am equally grumpy (with him, at this point, I may well be, although that’s because I do not have the motivation to be otherwise- and I certainly am not grumpy with the dc or my wider family or friends or colleagues or anyone I interact with day to day) and doesn’t accept that he is so moody and negative anyway.
Financially we would both take a real hit if we separated, but him more than me, mostly because the dc would stay with me. I have actually sat and tried to work out how on earth he could afford to rent somewhere he could both afford and have the dc in for his access weekends/ evenings. It would be really hard for him to manage, even if I didn’t take any maintenance- although I would sorely need maintenance. He is the dc’s father and his relationship with them and role in their lives is as important as mine and I would want their time together to be as enabled and good as possible.
And finances aside, I don’t know if I even want to separate. Actually, I don’t- I want him to recognise the problems and get some input and support, whatever it is he needs, to work with me to fix them. That’s what I want. But if he won’t do that, I think it’s a straight choice between splitting up and being sad because our marriage failed and ended, and staying together and being sad because our marriage is failing but not officially over.
I do still love him, but in a way that doesn’t quite make up for how wretched I feel about the overall state of things. I don’t mind working hard and being busy and tired, if he takes an equal amount of responsibility and doesn’t act as if every demand on his time or energy is a huge deal and a gross unfairness, if he sees what needs doing and just does it in the way I have to. I don’t expect permanent happiness and joy, for goodness sake, just to be happy more than sad.
I don’t even know what I want from this post, which I know is unreasonably long!

doiwantadivorce Wed 28-Dec-16 14:19:45

I'm sorry for the lack of paragraphs, I copy pasted from word and forgot it doesn't do proper spaces. I'll repaste with paragraphs here:

Namechanged, obviously.

Bear with me, I am so unsure of what I want and how I feel and what is going on. Please be kind, even if you just think I need to be told to get a grip or feel like typing ltb or want to make confused faces- please just don’t. It’s taken me ages to get this posted. I can’t cope with any of the above right now. I just can’t.
I have been with dh almost 13 years, married 11 and half. We have three dc, the eldest 10, the youngest 2. I don’t know what state our marriage is in right now. I am certainly not feeling positive about it. I don’t know if it’s all my fault or all his or a bit of both, if there aren’t really any huge problems and I’m just having a bad mental health moment, if I am totally unreasonable, if he is. I don’t know. I feel very tired of it all, and quite sad, and confused.

I find him lazy, but he would not agree. I feel that I take responsibility for almost everything and he takes responsibility for very little. He goes to work, he collects the dc in the evening, he often goes to Aldi with a list I have written, he sometimes does specific things I have repeatedly asked him to do which are within his capabilities but not mine (such as fix a broken ceiling light or take something to the tip as I don’t drive yet), he generally does housework jobs if asked. I go to work, I get all the dc up and ready in the mornings and to the various places they have to be, I organise and plan everything, I do most of the housework because I notice it needs doing and get sick of asking. We share cooking but it rests with me to organise it, if that makes sense.

I find him moody and bad tempered. I am no paragon of perfect behaviour either but neither is my default setting face-like-slapped-arse-grumpy. He seems to make an effort to be less so when I point it out to him with great force, but it slides back very quickly.

Pretty sure he would benefit from seeing someone about mental health issues, but he will not. And given that 1)I work in mental health and 2)have dealt with my own mh issues for years, I am clear that he has the capacity to take some responsibility for his own emotional and mental health and is not crippled by depression or anything else. I think counselling would help him manage his relationships better and understand why it affects everyone else when he’s being a total grump, and would certainly mean he is less often irritable and bad tempered with the dc, and would help him understand how communication works. I think it would help him feel better too. I don’t think he is in danger of harming himself or others, or unable to function due to a mh issue.
At the moment I just feel like the future is one long, bleak greyness. I don’t have any confidence that he understands there are, from my perspective anyway, huge problems and we are teetering on the brink here. We had a number of huge fallings out in late summer and the autumn in which I made it extremely clear how I felt about his laziness and grumpiness. I have gone to the extent of writing a list of every single thing I do and organise that he doesn’t (from day to day ‘ensure dc have clean dry clothes ready for next day’ stuff, to ‘manage tax credits claim’, ‘manage childcare arrangements’ type stuff). I have tried to communicate, I really, really have.

He does not cheat and hit us and disappear for days to get drunk. He thinks that means he cannot be a bad father or husband, from what I can make out. He thinks I am a nag (I am, because nothing else gets results, but not as much as I could be because half the time now I cut my losses and don’t even bother as it’s not worth the effort). He thinks I am equally grumpy (with him, at this point, I may well be, although that’s because I do not have the motivation to be otherwise- and I certainly am not grumpy with the dc or my wider family or friends or colleagues or anyone I interact with day to day) and doesn’t accept that he is so moody and negative anyway.

Financially we would both take a real hit if we separated, but him more than me, mostly because the dc would stay with me. I have actually sat and tried to work out how on earth he could afford to rent somewhere he could both afford and have the dc in for his access weekends/ evenings. It would be really hard for him to manage, even if I didn’t take any maintenance- although I would sorely need maintenance. He is the dc’s father and his relationship with them and role in their lives is as important as mine and I would want their time together to be as enabled and good as possible.
And finances aside, I don’t know if I even want to separate. Actually, I don’t- I want him to recognise the problems and get some input and support, whatever it is he needs, to work with me to fix them. That’s what I want. But if he won’t do that, I think it’s a straight choice between splitting up and being sad because our marriage failed and ended, and staying together and being sad because our marriage is failing but not officially over.

I do still love him, but in a way that doesn’t quite make up for how wretched I feel about the overall state of things. I don’t mind working hard and being busy and tired, if he takes an equal amount of responsibility and doesn’t act as if every demand on his time or energy is a huge deal and a gross unfairness, if he sees what needs doing and just does it in the way I have to. I don’t expect permanent happiness and joy, for goodness sake, just to be happy more than sad.

I don’t even know what I want from this post, which I know is unreasonably long!

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Wed 28-Dec-16 15:21:14

Sounds pretty grim and as though you are both in a rut. Living with a grump is a miserable existence. Would you or he consider marriage guidance counselling?

doiwantadivorce Wed 28-Dec-16 16:50:12

I would, definitely. I've asked him about it before, he is against the idea. He will not go to counselling. I think he sees it as a place to apportion blame, maybe. Or is just scared that he will let slip something he'd rather keep secret.

I spoke to him earlier about nothing much and we had a normal chat and when I ended the call I felt guilty for this post and my thoughts, I just want us to be happy as a family. I wish I knew how to make that happen.

NotTheFordType Wed 28-Dec-16 17:08:23

Or is just scared that he will let slip something he'd rather keep secret.

That's an interesting thought. What do you think that might be?

I want him to recognise the problems and get some input and support, whatever it is he needs, to work with me to fix them. That’s what I want.

What do you think are the chances of him doing this?

MonkeysLostApostrophe Wed 28-Dec-16 17:56:05

Hello OP. I'm not sure what to say to you, I have nothing useful.
I find myself in a similar situation in my own relationship and what you wrote here:

"I don’t know if I even want to separate. Actually, I don’t- I want him to recognise the problems and get some input and support, whatever it is he needs, to work with me to fix them. That’s what I want."

is exactly how I feel just now.
I've just NC because I was going to start a thread of my own about my situation but I'm going to wait a while until my thoughts are clearer.

Anyway flowers to you, I do understand but have no advice.

arsenaltilidie Wed 28-Dec-16 19:37:25

I have seen this time after time.
And it's happening to a friend of mine who has just moved in with his gf.
He was your typical mid 30s bachelor who looked after himself.

His new GF who is lovely has rightly stopped him wearing lycra. She also started to buy him clothes and has changed his dress sense for the better.
She has also started to do all the grocery shopping.
They are a lovely couple and she's a great addition to his life.
But I suspect if he goes shopping by himself he'll buy the wrong kind of eggs, the wrong chicken etc.
So she ends up doing all the shopping.

Eventually they'll come a time when she's does all those things and wonders why he doesn't do them.

My point OP is he maybe lazy but also stop treating him like he is one of your adult children.
An example is you don't have to write him a list.
If he screws up then let him deal with the consequences.
Let him organise the the meals from scratch.

Let him write a list of things for you to buy.
He sounds like he's lacking in confidence.

MonkeysLostApostrophe Wed 28-Dec-16 20:26:12

arsenal is that reallly all you took from the OP, that you think it's about him not doing the shopping properly?

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