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How do I know that now is the time to go? Are we just in a tough stage in our lives?(18 Posts)
There's a very long story to be told. I've started writing it a few times but I end up not posting because when I write it down I see it clearly, in black and white, and I know the response I would get is I should leave. I don't feel ready to just pack up and say "that's it" right now, so I don't think I'd get anything out of that post right now.
So the thing I will ask is, how do I know that the things that are wrong in our relationship wouldn't be resolved with time?
Our children are both pre-school age, and we both work long shifts. One of us is working every day except for one day a week when we are both at home. This leaves us with very little family time, and zero "couple" time.
We don't have family near by who can (or are willing to) give us the break to have nights out together, let alone a night away.
We both know things aren't good how they are (we cannot communicate, are rarely on "nice" terms with each other, both very defensive, and frequent raised voice on his part) and I have told him that I am close to calling it a day and leaving with the kids. I have the means to do this, financially, and enough good friends around to do so.
I'm just a little hesitant to "throw the towel in" at this time in our lives, with the hectic schedule having two young children brings, along with the long and unsocial hours we both work, when I hope that life could get much easier over the coming few years. For example getting the children in school could mean that I alter my working hours and give us more time to be a family, less tired and irritable (which is added to by the shift work) etc etc.
Do I stick around for a few more years and see what it brings? Or do I say no, this isn't right, right now, and dragging the kids through another few years based on a "what if" isn't fair on any of us? If I make the move now will I always wonder if I should have stayed, tried a bit harder?
I know that counselling would be good for us both. But we literally do not have the time in our lives to do it due to 12+ hour shifts and kids. Also I know he isn't open to that option anyway, even if we could MAKE the time for it. And the fact that I know he won't makes me think he doesn't actually deserve any further chance, because he should be falling over himself trying to find a way to save our family as we know it. He also needs anger management, (part of the long story I mentioned...) and I've told him this and he is not interested.
Don't want read a run but from what you wrote it might be worth staying but as you say there is long story .
Those freindsand that money which means you can leave now might not be here in a few years time .
Good point chrismas, thank you for your reply. You are right about the money, but I'm as certain as u ever can be that my friends of 30-odd years will still be around for the next two or three!
I know it's hard to comment without the story, so in my opinion he is emotionally abusive. Snaps at me every time I speak, rubbishes my suggestions (about anything, the house, the kids, what to have for tea...), first response to anything is to shout rather than to talk calmly or discuss or explain himself, for example to the kids shouting "oi get out of there now, for gods sake!" Rather than saying calmly "come away from there please it's dangerous/hot/not safe etc". Won't listen to me, so actually i now rarely tell him anything, but if I do try to speak about anything, what I've done that day, what happened at work, what I'm planning to do next week, what the kids brought home from nursery, whatever, he will listen for a short time and then say something like "oh right yeah ok I get it, stop going on" or something to that affect, stopping me mid sentence.
So any of these things on their own I could probably tick along with, but put it all together and it's just a very grumpy snappy shouty existence, and not what I want the kids to be brought up around. Also the lack of respect shown to me, rather than being a role model to the kids as to how a man should treat a woman...
But I do think nearly every one of those things probably boils down to working lots of hours, not having a lot of time either as a couple/family, or indeed on our own, tiredness and the general stress of this stage of our lives (money isn't tight, so that's not an issue, but we both have to put in plenty of hours to make it that way, but just generally having two very young kids and balancing work and the house etc is difficult). And this is the only thing holding me back and making me think am I right to go? Are we just in a hard few years and will things get better if we stay? But can I keep living with all this nasty atmosphere, and is a few more years of it any good for the kids, even if it does get better in the future, these are key years for the kids development?
What do you get out of this relationship now? What is keeping you still there. You should seek legal advice and plan your exit from this abusive relationship asap. You also have some money and support; draw on their help. Womens Aid will also help you leave when you are ready to. You can make better lives for yourself without him in it day to day.
This whole "being hesitant to throw the towel in" smacks of the sunken costs fallacy and that basically causes people to keep on making poor relationship decisions. Why are you putting this man's needs above yours?.
The only acceptable level of abuse within a relationship is NONE. Your H has already crossed that line.
What do you want to teach your children about relationships; surely not this role model of one. Your children could well learn how to abuse women themselves particularly when their dad is also emotionally abusive. Look at how he speaks to these children; its all barking orders. He certainly does not listen to you because in his head he knows best and you are inferior to him. Such men really hate women, all of them. If you've decided that you do not want the children raised within such an environment then you will have to separate.
Many people work long hours and don't have much in the way of time or money either but its not the reason why he is like this. He feels entitled to act like this and does so also because he can. Your children are on the receiving end of his barbed comments as well.
BTW such men will likely not make any aspect of separation at all easy and he will probably be obstructive as much as possible. He will act like this to punish you for leaving him. This does not mean you should not leave him however.
Joint counselling is a waste of time with such a person; no decent counsellor would ever see the two of you together in the same room because of the emotional abuse. Counselling for you alone is vitally important.
My guess is that he does not actually require anger management because he does not likely behave like this with anyone else; its all reserved for you instead. That is also why he does not think he needs AM.
You are at a very tough stage of your lives right now!
You need to make changes, maybe throw everything up in the air (jobs, location etc)
And bear in mind that this man will always be in youf life, one way or another, as the father of the DC, so it just being you and the kids will never be exactly that.
That is not a reason not to leave... just something to bear in mind.
We have changed country and jobs when we hit shit times.
If you are prepared to change your life, why not look at everything (where you live, job, relationship)
Divorce is not a "solution" iyswim (not saying you should notdo it, that is up to you)
It sounds a bit like you're making excuses for his behaviour. You work long hours too and do you shout and behave in the same way??
What about some sort of trial separation? Maybe that would give you the space you need away from each other to assess whether its worth fighting for.
Thank you lovely people for your reasoned and impartial advice. It's what I need...
Just to answer a few q's. What do I get out of it? Mostly a nice home with anything that either me or the kids need, financial security, and generally quite a nice life, aside from this behaviour.
He probably saves all this behaviour for me... Not entirely. He can be quite snappy and harsh to his mum and his sister, I've seen both of them cry with how he's spoken to them.
A drastic move would not be in my favour, I am in a small community where I know many many people and good friends. I wouldn't have this elsewhere and I am going to need it I can see...
If we weren't together I would find it very difficult to work. The only reason I can do the job I do and the long hours in entails is because Incan leave the kids at home with him on his days off. There is no one else I could leave them with for the hours I'm talking about. If I changed job it would increase nursery hours and therefore fees, and my wage would certainly be lower.
The above is why a trial separation would not be easy to do, it would be so disruptive for work that it wouldn't be possible I don't think. If in left I think I'd be ringing work in a crisis saying I won't be in for a few weeks while I sort something out... I don't know what though.
Genuinely thank you for your responses, I am reading and taking on board. This reply is just to fill a few gaps, not at all because I am dismissing your suggestions. X
"What do I get out of it? Mostly a nice home with anything that either me or the kids need, financial security, and generally quite a nice life, aside from this behaviour".
Financial security and all the rest of it does not make up for the behaviour he shows towards you and his children. There's nothing there about love, trust in your abilities and respect for you as a person.
"He probably saves all this behaviour for me... Not entirely. He can be quite snappy and harsh to his mum and his sister, I've seen both of them cry with how he's spoken to them".
So he is like this with women close to him as well like his mum and sister and now you as his wife. What has their response been to this bullying from him?.
Such men as well can also come across as quite plausible to those in the outside world. BTW you do not mention his dad at all in your reply; is he still around?. What's was/is he like as a person?.
Gosh not sure what to say. My first instinct is that you definitely do need couples counselling with some individual sessions too before you break it off for good. But you say he would never do that. Could you find the time to start sessions on your own? Explain to him you are seriously considering divorce?
His mum and sister were upset and shocked. I wasn't shocked because i had already seen it myself and found myself appologising to them for his behaviour.
Yes you are right. To the outside world we have a great life. When they see us he is well turned out, pleasant, good with the kids, and I always have a smile on my face. A lot of people will be very surprised when all of this comes to a head.
His dad is around, he is a not very well 70 something year old. But he is very mild mannered, an old school kind gentleman, who loves our kids and has a gentle heart. I've used this example to my husband when we've talked about these issues, saying "have you ever heard your dad talk to your mum the way you speak to me? Has he ever spoken to you the way you speak to the kids?" And his answer is always "no". If anyone his mum has a bit of a firey personality, and actually probably is unnecessarily harsh to her husband.
"If anyone his mum has a bit of a firey personality, and actually probably is unnecessarily harsh to her husband"
We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents; look at what he learnt from his mother.
Never apologise for his behaviour; that is not yours to own. He is responsible for his own actions. I think you need to think about why you did that at all; were you trying to be a people pleaser, cover for him or otherwise smooth things over?.
He sounds stressed (like you), which is probably due to the lack of time you both have to yourselves or even couple time. I guess you need to think back to the time when you both loved eachother immensely and decided to have DC etc, hang on to that because it does just sound like a rough patch where everyone doesn't seem to have found their feet after family changes.
So saying that, something does need to change, and you both need to think long and hard about what it is, just a few suggestions on what you could consider:
One of you reduce your hours/negotiate where needed for a job share.
One of you leave your job, for a few years once DC are in school.
Both of you find alternative jobs that don't involve 12 hour shifts.
Relocate your life (I know) near family/friends who could give you a break on occasion.
Your family unit is important, you don't hate eachother from what i can tell, you're just snippy with eachother because you're tired/stressed and you need a break. Speaking from experience, this is down to your alternating 12 hour shifts which although is good for childcare, is not good for your health, physically and mentally, which you're already starting to experience.
Hope you can get it resolved
I find it very hard to say that I love him right now, although I do, of course. After ten years and two kids there's always going to be love. But I don't love how we are right now.
Yes I think the suggestion about counselling on my own is something I need to pursue.
Thanks moosical, I hadn't read your reply. Work is something we could change, we could manage without my wage. But this is another bone of contention, he thinks I should be working because I do nothing else... Ba ha ha! I think this opinion has changed a little since taking on a bit of the childcare responsibility. But I am reluctant to give up my well paid job when a part of me thinks the end of the marriage may be coming, and I'll need that income, if I can negotiate my hours etc to make it work.
That's not a good view for him to have, in regards to 'doing nothing' if you're not in a paid job! Maybe he should book a couple of weeks off, then leave running the household to him.
Like others have suggested, it does sound like counselling is the way forward, at least then he could hopefully hear from someone else what the options are, I guess they just need to be laid bare to him, coming from somewhere else...
Ultimately, does he want to 'save' the relationship and have a future with all of you together? If so he needs to change his attitudes towards certain things, hopefully a counseller can show the way for you both!
Ooh daisy! I love your idea of leaving him at home alone with the kids for a couple of weeks!!
You're right about keeping your job. Maintaining your independence is a must.
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