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Impartial opinions wanted(66 Posts)
I would really appreciate some opinions on a situation I am in with my husband. So I am 46 and after twenty years together, over the past eighteen months we have been slowly moving towards a separation. He has declared that he is no longer 'in love' with me (although he does love me), the attraction has gone and we haven't had sex in almost a year. I have accepted all this - although I'm sad, and would be prepared to work on it, I can't do it alone. He is unwilling to try to make things work, won't do counselling or anything. He feels it's impossible to get that initial attraction back. And I know he is keen to have other relationships.
So the issue is that we have two lovely DSs in their teens. They are going to be completely devastated by the news that we're separating. To avoid this, my husband is suggesting that we should not tell them the truth until they have left home, and keep things looking normal until then. That's five years away in our younger DS's case. In the meantime, we would both be free to have other relationships, but keep them secret obviously, and we would both accept our relationship is over and co-exist as friends/co-parents.
I can't get my head around this. On one hand I would go a long way to avoid hurting my DSs. On the other, I don't think I can spend the next five years pretending to our kids and the world in general that everything's fine while dying a slow emotional death inside. I don't think I'm capable of having secret relationships outside our marriage as he seems to feel he is. I don't know if I can carry on hiding my feelings from my children.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? Would really appreciate thoughts on this...
A very selfish suggestion from him. He has decided he wants to leave you whereas you would try to make it work. Living under the same roof for the next five years would be unbearable for you, and kids are smart they will soon sense / work out something is up.
He wants his cake and eat it!
The kids would know. They're pick up on the atmosphere. They'd see you having a very cold, sterile relationship and possibly grow up thinking that's normal. Either shot properly or be together properly. You can't do anything in the middle - it just doesn't work.
Absolutely no way. As he loves you but is not in love, I assume he has no idea how it would affect you to try this dishonest scheme of his. Is anybdy still in love after 20 years...I doubt it. Love is more important imo. I think he should move for a bit. Good luck.
No, that would only ever work (if then) if you were both on the same page but you are not.
I think there is already someone he is having/wants to have a relationship with...
He just wants your agreement so you can't accuse him of having an affair and being the "baddy" to causing the marriage to fail.
What do you yourself want to teach your children about relationships and just what are they learning here from you both.
As ideas go from him that is a shockingly bad one and based purely on his own selfishness. Do not go along with this mad plan of your H's. Someone needs to be the grown up here in this sham and start the separation process now.
All your H's suggestion will teach them is that a loveless marriage is their norm too and that their parents relationship was based on a lie. Staying purely for them is highly damaging and they won't say thanks mum or dad for doing that to them. Its a terrible burden to place on any child and if you did this your own relationship with them going forward into their adulthood would be damaged as well.
Your children will not I think be devastated as you think they will be if you were to part. Children are perceptive and pick up on all the vibes; they probably know all too well that things are not at all good at home and have not been for some time. They perhaps wonder of you why you are still with their dad and even worse perhaps blame themselves for their parents marital problems.
I agree with Random - I think he's met someone else already, and he basically wants permission to continue his affair, while maintaining his stable home life and "good dad" reputation.
Dont do this :-( Kids are not stupid.
When I was 15 my best friend found out about her parents' secret areangement. It was pretty bad.
I never liked her dad, he was always so grumpy and nasty. Her mum was lovely.
It turned out that her dad was gay but of course back then he had kept it secret, married, had kids...
She and her sister found out. Imagine. He had a boyfriend.
Talk of the town.
At the end, they separated and he moved in with boyfriend.
What a change!!! He is the loveliest man now. I guess he must have been so unhappy. Made his wife unhappy, made his daughters unhappy.
It isn't just appearances he wants to maintain ..." good family man etc." ... it is the domestic status quo. So , he gets to shag around ( probably has already ) whilst you get to service him .... childcare , cooking , cleaning etc. Wow , what a great idea. He is showing utter contempt for your life and your feelings. Get rid of this entitled arsewipe and start to build a new life for yourself and the children. These days children will know all about affairs / divorces etc. and will have friends who have been through it all. This man wants to use you and your free labour for another 5 years until the " children leave home ". What utter drivel. He wants to shag around and still have a home to come back to ! You are only 46 , no age at all. Plenty of time to enjoy life and have other relationships with men if you want to . He wants you to be over 50 and perhaps he thinks it will be too late for you to find someone else. Start to sort out all the finances and practical stuff and get rid of this user.
Best thing is to do what right for you and your DC
How can you also form any relationship that's meaningful when it comes to inviting home your current DP and ExDH is sat there. Can you honestly do that for 5 years
That I should an awful idea, one that will likely make you very depressed and I couldn't imagine the atmosphere in the house would be very good between you and your H.
Please don't do it.
Never lie to children, teenage children aren't daft and pick up everything in the home and atmospheres. I grew up in an atmosphere due to my mothers poor choice of a new husband and it was truly awful.
Anyway it is not a workable solution, but rather badly thought out. He arrogantly, stupidly and selfishly wants it all on his terms, and to have everything he wants, with no thoughts for you or his children...your lives, hopes and wishes in any way.
Just make a quick, clean cut and live apart. If he wants his freedom give it to him so he can see how green the grass is and mess up all he wants.
The children will be fine and to face real life, changes and challenges and come through it [which you all will] ...will be a better lesson for their future than secrecy, lies, denial and duplicitous lives demonstrated in front of them which insults their intelligence quite frankly. Imagine how they will feel when they find out the truth. It could all backfire.
RandomMess just said exactly what I was thinking. He's already seeing someone else or got his eye on someone.
Also, this could carry on for far longer than anticipated. How do you know your DS will only need to live at home for another five years? Even if he goes to university he'll still need a home to come back to during holidays and potentially when he's finished. This awful sounding arrangement could go on endlessly.
How selfish can you get, he wants to keep the status quo with his family but shag on the side, oh and lie to the family in the process.
Tell him to stick it OP, he's probably already in a relationship and is laying the ground work.
Firstly thank you so much everyone for your input - wow, what a great resource.
So universally everyone thinks (as I did) that what my husband's suggesting is not a viable idea. And I think those of you who said he's probably already had/having an affair are probably right.
Which leads to the next question: how do we tell the kids without totally destroying them? Oldest just about to sit life-defining exams in two months; youngest not in a brilliant situation at school - doesn't have a very good friend group and generally a bit insecure and vulnerable. Honestly I am okay about the thought of the separation from husband/my point of view, but when I think of the kids my heart breaks.
I can't bear the idea of a sit down 'Mum and Dad have something to tell you' kind of conversation. I know I would just cry buckets and totally freak them out.
I should have said, they seem to have no idea this is on the cards - husband lives separately through the week for work reasons so it's relatively easy to keep it concealed.
Well I was with everyone else until you said you don't live together, only at weekends.
I wouldn't say anything till after the first child's exams , I think uou can keep it up for a few weeks, after that then it's up to you.
Could you bear him to be there at weekends? Is there a way to have separate bedrooms, I actually can see the benefit in what he's suggesting, however I'd wait till the summer then tell the kids, but in a mummy and daddy are the best of friends and love you very much kind of way and you will still see us both. I think you need to think through separate rooms, and if not, alternate weekends and where, would you have to sell the family home? Saying nothing for a few weeks till exams are over gives you time to think it through.
It's a terrible suggestion and your H will have no doubt made a head start on the 'seeing other people' front. He wants to end the relationship, has found someone else, and doesn't want any responsibility for the separation. Is he usually a selfish, manipulative fuckwit?
I would wait until after the exams and then tell them. I would definitely not keep it a secret until they leave home, especially as your husband will probably openly have relationships in th week when away and you will be left alone or trying to keep secrets - which is no healthy.
My ex dh wanted our separation kept secret - did not tell his family etc but secretly met other women - then when I met a new partn and he tried to make out that was the reason we had split & it was all my fault, whilst playing the 'victim', even to our teenage children. I wish I had not allowed him to keep it secret as the aftermath nearly destroyed me & caused conflict between my children as he tried to make them pick sides with lies....
Sit them down and tell them truth ( details not needed) as soon as exams are over, look after yourself and you children.
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