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Do I ask for split or not - self indulgent outpouring(26 Posts)
This is a just a ramble to see if writing it down helps me. If anyone want to chip in and give me a hard shake feel free please. Anything would be better than this vacuum.
With DH 20 years, 3 older teens, we are in our 50’s. Financially fairly secure ( we both work) though his job is under threat right now
We have been like flat mates for a good few years – superficially get on but no intimacy, no open talking ever (he wont talk, just says he finds it difficult). I have been increasingly unhappy for a few years, and the thought of being empty nest fairly soon is filling me with dread. I wrote all of this down last summer and gave him the letter – emphasising that not talking about it was a big deal.
Fast forward to now, he hasn’t mentioned it again. So I finally had to bring the subject up again now. He says he wants us to stay together – at no stage has he mentioned love – last summer’s conversation he was so defeatist about it, he said if he changed anything or did anything, I would just say he was doing it change my mind. He says the DC will be upset.
I wrote down the pros and cons of staying together and splitting up.
I want to stay together because
It’s the easy option
I don’t want to upset him
I don’t want to upset the DC
It’s financially better
I don’t want to upset all the elderly parents
I don’t mind him on surface level – ie we can chat about politics/weather/ household tasks
He is helping a bit more around the house
He has always been engaged with the DC – defo a good dad
I feel like I am kicking him when he is down because of the redundancy situation and because he is sad at the idea of splitting and can’t see what a future on his own would look like
I worry that the DCs will blame me as the visible one in ending it even though there have been years of him not communicating
I don’t want to stay together because
Despite me saying as much of this as I could last summer which doesn’t come naturally to me, he still left it to me to raise the topic again. He says he has thought about it every day but never found the right time to raise it
He still says he finds it hard to speak about stuff even though I said that was the main thing. He has suggested we go out and do more things together – seems like making an effort but hasn’t done much about it over the autumn
He still hasn’t mentioned the elephant in the room re sex (neither have I – but that is almost a test – can he talk about something that I haven’t raised first?). And can I actually hurt his feelings that much by saying I don’t want to? I don’t fancy him at all and don’t want to make love with him at all, can hardly manage more than a peck on the cheek
What on earth do I do. I see all the experiences on here where people have so much a worse time with awful partners and I think I shouldn’t be complaining. But then I think of another 20 or 30 years of life just the two of us and I cant bear it.
What a sad mess.
Anyway that was long and I still don’t know what I should do.
I think your reasons for leaving are far more compelling that your list to stay. None of those reasons you list are good enough to stay, none of them. Staying in this is akin to death by 1000 cuts.
What do YOU want; take everyone else, particularly the elderly parents, out of it. After all, these people are not married to him and have not see the daily reality of life with him.
Where do you see yourself in a year's time?
One day your children will leave home and sooner rather than later if things remain as they are. They certainly won't want to come back home very often.
Your children likely know far more than you care to realise about the state of their parents marriage. They may well wonder of you why you are still with their dad at all, they can and do pick up on your respective miseries towards each other. They have picked up on all the unspoken vibes.
What do you think they are learning about relationships here and what do you think you are teaching them?. Do not continue here to do your bit to show them that a loveless marriage is their norm too. Your H only wants you to stay for his own reasons (mainly as someone to look after him); he is not bothered about you at all really and seems happy at the way things are.
Sympathies... it sounds draining, and all the work trying to repair or save or even just examine the state of the relationship is down to you. If he can't or won't talk to you about it, well that is just ridiculous.
He just seems to be stonewalling you which is mightily frustrating. If one half of the relationship won't communicate or is unmoveable, then by default the other one will always look like the stirrer or instigator. You are merely, reasonably trying to create a platform on which to construct a healthy relationship, not blowing it sky-high. If he doesn't participate in that, where can you go?
Maybe the dcs will see you as the one ending it, but you are a reasonable person and you deserve to have love, real communication, sex, intimacy, closeness that a marriage implies, not a hollow shell and keeping-up-appearances. You're not getting the things you need and have a right to expect. They would be able to see that the marriage might have to end on humanitarian grounds - for you. Don't you get to hope for happiness rather than grind on unhappily forever for the sake of everyone else?
By not talking, he has successfully stalled you by another six months at least. Perhaps he relies on you not to bring it up, because he knows you are waiting for him to. Presumably he must want to carry on like this - but the point is you don't!
What about Relate? Would you consider that? That might be 'one last try' at getting him to communicate. If it didn't work you will at least know that you tried everything you could think of.
It sounds like you think you don't have enough reasons to split up, but the lack of communication is bad enough on its own to be the reason. Of course you can't face another 20 to 30 years of life like this!
An observation about your list of pro's and cons. A lot of the cons are all to do with worrying about other people - dcs, him. elderly parents. Well they don't have to suffer your marriage do they? You don't exist just to provide the wallpaper in other people's lives. You are allowed to put yourself in the centre of your picture.
thanks Attila for taking time to reply. I think (hope) the DC haven't seen it but maybe you are right. DH's mum who is lovely btw, ran around after his dad all his life - and I am a good cook etc so maybe he married his mum!
Hillfarmer I am now in tears, you're right I hate being the bad guy and was always the peace maker as a child. yes I would defo consider relate - but how do I answer when they ask questions like could you start going back to a physical relationship ? It was never that great tbh even when we were young and had the energy, but I would feel like it was my brother (Bleurgh!). How does relate work, can you see them one to one and together. I just hate hate hate hurting peoples' feelings.
*I don’t want to upset him
I don’t want to upset the DC
I don’t want to upset all the elderly parents
I feel like I am kicking him when he is down
I worry that the DCs will blame me*
None of these are reasons you want to stay. They are all reasons that you don't want to go - and in fact they are just one reason: you don't want to look like the baddie. That's a shit reason, sorry! Sometimes we just have to grow a pair / put on our big girl knickers and look like the baddie.
Will look for my big girl pants yes I know, hiding behind reasons....
You can do Relate on a one-to-one basis or together. Sex is not the first thing a counsellor will hit you with!
Just a thought though - you could find a counsellor/psychotherapist for yourself really useful (if you can afford it), just to try to disentangle your feelings and put yourself on the map.
It isn't self-indulgent, you need clarity here... and the sex thing is probably a big symptom, a very obvious outward manifestation of the dysfunction in your marriage, but its not the only thing. There's other stuff which would definitely be explored first, and you don't have to discuss sex at all if you don't want to. However... like you, I would be much more comfortable talking about it with 1-1 counselling.
Psychotherapy helped me a lot. And I don't think I discussed the actual doings of sex ever.
It will have to be done sooner or later.
Your relationship has never been great and it doesn't look like it will ever be great.
Life is too short.
Split. You can't change him into a talker. Your relationship has probably run its course. You may well split and be surprised how quickly he moves on himself.
That sounded like a dig...was meant to say maybe he too needs it to end to find happiness in someone else too. or to enjoy his own time. so there may be little to feel guilty about.
Toptoe, if he found someone else I would be thrilled - would ease all my guilt about ending it and worrying about him living on his own, knowing he was happy!
So, so sad. 'I don't mind him on a surface level'. That's awful, nobody should continue a relationship like that. And it will get harder once the DCs are gone, not easier. Give it a go with Relate, for sure, but if the thought of the future you have together is that awful, then do what you have to do. One life, only ever one. Don't waste it.
You don't ask for a split, you do it. He's happy maintaining the status quo, you're not, so you'll have to do it. Can't say I blame you, sounds awful
Give him one more chance then knock it on the head. If you want to. Really if you want to. If you don't fancy him at all then that's a good enough reason, but maybe part of the reason that you don't fancy him because he's just been passive and disengaged. DH has made a huge effort lately to get our stale relationship back on track. We are a little younger, and have younger children, but we spent years not communicating and just drifting by
wasting time. They say a leopard can't change its spots, but that's not always true. DH is not a natural talker and dwells on things something rotten. It took a massive argument and me slapping him round the face to wake him up (no I'm not proud, but it was years of resentment and anger coming out, and it did the trick) We're still fragile but we are working so hard to get us back. Also take your children out of the equation now. They are old enough to cope.
thank you all, lots of food for thought.
OMG, no, you can tolerate him on the surface, this is not love, not even close, I don't think you are going to be able to grow old with this man, not unless you can completely cut off any feelings or wants or desire, he sounds dead emotionally, I couldn't be with someone like this; he MUST have some feelings and he must speak! Otherwise, he could be living a double life for all you know as you don't seem to factor much in his thinking - no, sorry, it would have to end for me, you've told him before, nothing has changed, it's really not difficult to show a partner love, consideration, do things together, spoil each other, surprise each other, keep it alive FGS, it's not for you to do it all!
I'm going to give an alternative view..Are you prepared to be on your own? Your relationship feels like companionship which could be something you value later in life.
Do you feel he has your back? How affectionate and open is he with the children?
I would seek counselling as separating it's something you need to be sure about.Divorce is not an easy process and it's heartbreaking even when it's a marriage that shouldn't be together.
Start preparing all those people who will be upset. Gently. And start imagining what your first steps will be to splitting. If that does not promote change, you would be doing the right thing for both of you to split, imo.
Your posts have moved me OP particularly as you start off with asking for a hard shake when you need anything but.
Children, spouses and parents do recover from broken marriages and couples going their different ways you know. You say you'd love your husband to find someone else, but it doesn't sound like he ever will unless he's single in order to do that and given the freedom to evolve.
I really think you'd benefit from some one to one counselling of some kind, if only to be able to let it all out and to start to formulate your own feelings and not just your feelings as they relate to everyone else.
It's a phrase, but please listen to it 'Be kind to yourself' otherwise I can envisage this situation drifting along like this for another decade, at which point you want to explode and it will be so much harder for both of you to move on.
and if you like it.
thank you everyone - some good ideas, and I might explore the one to one counselling too, ENin (where did you get your name?!).
Still no mention of anything I said tonight, so I think everyone is right, if there is to be any change, I will need to try and make it happen.
I really appreciate all the comments, xx to all
Life's too short to be unhappy.
The kids will wonder wtf, but will come round if you both behave like grown ups about it and might even be relieved. (Almost definitely will, tbh, unless you're both actors worthy of Oscars)
change this is my normal name. The whole PWert business was a name change for a particular thread. A PWert is a kind of glamping type yurt, with a twist
Hope you're ok.
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