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A woman's perspective on my predicament please...(92 Posts)
It’s a first for me posting my problems online... but tbh I’m at the end of my tether and need to vent/get stuff off my chest to someone/anyone.
I'm posting here as i'm trying to get an idea whether my predicament is normal for a 21 year relationship and wanting advice on what to do.
The long and short of my problems is that I’ve been in a relationship to my childhood sweet heart for 21 years, I’m 38, we have two children, live in our own 3 bed house and gradually over the years i have been worn down with weekly major arguments, but i feel like i cant leave her because...
* I feel like I’d be making my kids’ lives a mess.
* It would be a real struggle for me financially leaving with nothing but debt, and very depressing living in a little rented sh&t hole. (she can’t afford to take the mortgage on and pay me out)
* I feel like if I get with someone else I might be in the same predicament in x years’ time.... because it's human nature to get bored.
I decided to write a list of my gripes ... The list below is 100% true, i am not perfect by any means and can leave things out/ be a scruffy bugger sometimes..... but I’m a positive happy fun bloke to be around, no anger issues, faithful and will always help anyone out.
So, here's my list of errrm... problems, in no particular order.
1) I always make the first move sexually ... if I don’t, it doesn’t happen. ( I do everything when we do ... literally no effort put in on her part)
(been like this for the past 15 years.... once every month or so)
2) She is never happy with what she has and always wants more. She is jealous of friends who are living in bigger better 250k+ houses .....
(but doesn’t/won’t do anything to earn any more to make it possible. It's my job to find a better job paying more money.... she has mentioned...why don’t i go working away to earn more??!!) (i earn 37k a year which i think is pretty good considering I’m home to pick the kids up every day)
3) I do things off the cuff and the action is never reciprocated..... making breakfast in bed on a weekend, back massages, kisses etc.
4) She belittles me for trying to make money and think of business idea's. (I’m always giving something a go because i think i can make something of myself)
5) She has very little drive and self-motivation.
6) I pick the kids up every day from school & make tea 5 nights a week and 95% of the time i usually end up cleaning up afterwards.
7) All my effort goes unnoticed.
8) She has turned my kids against my mother (my mums not perfect... but should keep thoughts to herself)
9) Expects me to take on any sort of finance on in my soul name.... she has no debt/credit cards or loans.
10) Will never admit when she's in the wrong or answer an awkward question.... and always follows up a question with a 'statement' about something shitty I’ve done or said in the past. (she would make a good politician!)
11) She NEVER EVER apologises. (it's usually left to me, even if I’m not in the wrong... otherwise we don’t speak)
12) Refuses to do my ironing...but irons kids and her cloths. (because i once made a jibe about going to work looking like I’ve been in a train accident with all tram lines on my shirts and work pants)
I have been 100% faithful in 21 years and can count my sexual conquests on two fingers.
We are not married, mainly due to cost.
In my eye's i make all the effort and it feels like one way traffic, but I’m that used to it now, it's kind of become the norm for me.
Any advice for my predicament?
I was going to advise you to go to Relate and give it another try, but not doing your ironing....no man should have to put up with that.
I have just left a similar situation. 6 months in.
Apart from number 12 (you shot yourself in the foot and I'd have told you to do the same) it really doesn't sound a happy relationship and the kids will pick up on that more than if you split.
I would speak to CAB and a lawyer. See when everything stands if you left her and go from there.
OP, all I see here is that you no longer like your DP and, though it would be complicated, it sounds like it is time that you started sorting out the finances of separating.
Would she consider trying counselling? It can sometimes help for both parties to see things from the others perspective. In a long term relationship it's easy to get lost and not be able to appreciate what you have, it will take work on both sides to get your spark back. If she won't consider it I would do as others suggest and seek some legal advice about where you stand financially and in relation to access to the children. Good luck.
I'd leave - no doubt about it. You can always make the finances work. How old are the kids? If they are almost grown, I guess you could wait a bit. Fwiw, I left a 20 year relationship. It's hard, but do-able. I am now with DH and the marriage is great. So glad I took the leap. Get a pen and paper and work out the money.
I'd openly tell her it's becoming a deal breaker and that if you have any chance of rebuilding the relationship then go for counselling, particularly if you can't discuss the various issues openly.
Can you say what are her good points?
Does she work?
Would you consider becoming the resident parent?
I have a few questions
Does she work? FT/ PT/ Good salary? How much is the debt? How has she persuaded you to take the debt on in your name and not joint names? Are you managing the debt? Why would it have to be you that leaves?
She sounds fairly awful to me although quite frankly the ironing should have nothing to do with this. I'd be speaking to CAB and a family solicitor if I was you.
You sound as though you simply don't like each other.
What will make the kids life a mess is teaching them that it's ok to be unhappy and miserable in relationships, whilst making them privy to frequent arguments and unkindness.
It is possible to split without fucking the kids up.
It is also possible to look at what you have, value it and, together, work towards improving it. The pair of you need to decide if that ship has sailed yet.
I wouldn't recommend Relate as my experience of them has been shit. Maybe have a look around for couples therapy elsewhere. Theres a counsellors directory online. I would recommend a counsellor to help you get your thoughts straight, whether you do hat alone or together.
It sounds shit and miserable. Life is really too short. Sort it out or bin it. The kids will only benefit from you moving on one way or another.
Some of your issues sound serious but others are not actually issues and just very petty. It's impossible to know which is causing which... (E.G I can't think of anything less sexy than my husband 'making jibes' about ironing - so if he did then I probably wouldn't feel in the mood for much sex.)
You say she doesn't appreciate your efforts but you don't mention her efforts either. Presumably she does make effort too? Someone who irons children's clothing is someone with quite high standards, in my opinion.
Also I'm confused that you don't mention her working outside the home but also seem to expect her to take on debt? Which is it? As an unmarried SAHM (?) she is in a very vulnerable position financially even without having debt to service.
As with anything in a relationship, it comes down to communication, and both parties being prepared to put time and effort in to understanding each other. If only one of you is prepared to try then it won't work. PP's suggestion of counselling is a good one. If she isn't interested in attending then that's probably your answer.
She sounds, from your description (and lets remember, its one sided), a bit of a nightmare. You don't mention anything positive at all about her which is revealing.
She's bored, taking you for granted and emotionally, she's checked out. Like you, she's probably staying with the status quo for the children's sake and because of finances.
Many, many people find themselves in a similar situation after twenty years of a less than satisfactory partnership.
If it was me, I'd factor in the ages of the children right now. It is much, much easier splitting up when they're very small than it is when they're going through important stages in their young lives like preparing for exams, moving to senior school, dealing with life's slings and arrows including full on adolescence.
They have to be your priority and only you know if it would be better for them for you to stay and bide your time until they're fully fledged and on their way into the big wide world, or to call time on the relationship and find yourself a room in a shared house temporarily until you get back on your feet.
Another way around it would be for you to agree with your partner that its just not working and to co-parent but live separate lives in the same house.
I think first of all, you need to sit down with your partner and explain carefully that you've come to the end of the line, here are the obvious options and which one does she feel would move matters forward.
Sometimes, expressing our heartfelt discontent can make the other person sit up and take notice.
Sometimes, we can be too accommodating with our significant others and we end up being totally taken for granted. Just maybe, what's required is just a simple wake-up call.
I think you know the answer in your own mind..
Ask yourself this :- If you don't separate now will you still be unhappy in this relationship in 5 years from now ?
It seems very daunting to split but honestly it really is do-able.
Good luck :-)
She sounds like my OH, should we introduce them?
I am also trying to find the balls to say we should split up, its so tough. I have written a letter today, whether or when i give it remains to be seen. But I am not crying. Good luck whatever you do
I'm struggling to understand why you'd want to make it work. Other than her being a habit, what actually do you get from the relationship?
Thanks all for the reply’s... plenty of food for thought for me to mull over tonight.
Debt isn’t really an issue tbh... just more of an annoyance on my part that a loan and credit card is in my sole name and i can’t leave with anything to pay them off or even have any money to start up again on my lonesome, but i am being a bit blinkered in my way of thinking considering i earn another 17k a year and we are not married. (thanks for pointing that one out)
As regards positives... she is a fantastic mother to my children and is a genuinely nice person. (oh and a very good cook when she does!)
I think we have fallen out of love and it’s a self-perpetuating cycle of not talking to each other in a civilised way which causes yet more problems.
Once again… thanks you all for your input… its nice to see things from a different angle/perspective.
I think you sound a bit whiney to be honest and you write as if you deserve a medal for sticking with her. Maybe she feels that from you as well and hence her attitude. You've written a long list which is basically a character assassination of your wife. I don't think it covers you in glory doing this and I'm surprised by the sympathy you've received to be honest. I'd like to hear her side of the story for balance.
......because i know no different due to my lack of experince of different women and i want my kids 10 & 12 to grow up in an environment where both adults have their best interests at heart.
It takes plenty of work for a relationship to last and i think i can be the proud of the fact i've done everything with in my powers
I came from a 'broken' home and always played second fiddle to both my parents partners.... it's rubbish, and i wouldnt want this for my kids.
Their happiness matters to me the most.... not mine.
It is not good for your children's long term happiness for them to grow up thinking your relationship is normal.
Do you want to stay with her? If so you certainly need some sort of counselling. If not, then for everyone's sake - the DC, yours, hers - you need to split.
Yep that's married life, sounds normal. My wife is the same apart from she does my Ironing... and don't I know it!!!
I find your initial list of 12 issues - which makes it sound like she isn't pulling her weight and has a very bad attitude - completely confusing alongside the later admission that she's a 'fantastic mother and genuinely nice person' quite confusing, TBH. I think you checked out emotionally a while ago and have been keeping a scorecard ever since, to help you justify ending the relationship. With the result that it isn't a fair scorecard that also contains your own mistakes and weaknesses, because those aren't your focus. (She is doing plenty of other things for your children, as you admit, and you collect them from school and make the tea. If anything, you're the one who isn't pulling their weight, rather than the other way round.)
Anyway, don't go along to your partner giving your list of gripes as reasons you want to separate if you want to retain a good relationship as co-parents for the sake of your children.
And if she has no idea that you're feeling this seriously about the situation then don't spring it on her and expect her to have accepted it by the next day, when it's probably taken you weeks or months to mull over.
Neither should you try counselling if you've already decided it's definitely over - though if you're not 100% then it would be a good idea.
Maybe she's checked out and maybe she hasn't but it sounds like you already have.
it doesn't seem as though
you think you get much out of this relationship. The first thing you need to do is sit down and tell her it's not working and see if you both actually want to find a way to make it work.
The ironing thing did it for me - do your own bloody ironing!! AND the fact that when you try to talk about her good points you mention her cooking skills!
Ever thought about getting a house keeper?
I think if she is a lovely woman who is a great mum you are very fortunate.
You seem to be looking at her through highly critical eyes and it bpils down to you feeling unappreciated and wanting slightly more physical attention.
Address one issue but raise it gently when you are both in a positive mood.
I'm sure she has a list on you as well so think about how you would like her to raise those issues.
Go to couples counselling and tell her, in a non-confrontational way, all the things you've listed in your opening post. Except the ironing though, Jesus wept, no bloody wonder she doesn't do your ironing. Why the hell should she?
It does sound as if you have come to the end of the road though, there's not much affectionate there, let alone enduring love. What's going to happen when your children are no longer at home? It's all going to go tits up then isn't it? My own parents divorced the minute my younger sister left home aged 20, and it was a horrible shock to realise they had stayed together "for the children" and not for any other reason.
Life is too short Op please don't stay in this shit relationship
You've prob just outgrown each other.
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