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Is 10-15 years married a serious danger zone for splitting?

(50 Posts)
juneau Tue 21-Mar-17 11:01:03

I ask because I'm at that stage, as are most of my friends, and I know four couples who've split in the last year alone and of at least two other marriages that have been in trouble for some time. And it could so easily be me too, if I'm honest. Life is such a bloody grind. So many people are unhappy in their jobs and worried they'll be laid off. Most of our children are still quite young, demanding and labour-intensive. Families are spread out so meaningful levels of help and support are few and far between and couple-time is almost non-existent. So many of us just seem to be really busy, stressed, fed up, bored and just want to get off the merry-go-round, but can't. Are we all just having a mid-life crisis?

Flicketyflack Tue 21-Mar-17 11:05:15

I think I agree with you*Juneau*.

I have seen in both my kids classes that when the kids get to about 9 or 10 the parents seem to get divorced. I guess you are over the real 'baby' phase and the children are getting independent but not enough to leave them and re establish a life for you and your partner. There are ageing parents as well added to the mix. A mid life crisis I suppose but not really a crisis a such just reality of the hard slog of it all!

Happybunny19 Tue 21-Mar-17 11:11:18

Probably yes unfortunately. Many people seem to expect everything to stay sweetness and light throughout all the stresses that real family life entails, but it's an unrealistic expectations. Many of us get to an age where we reflect and discover our lives are not what we thought they might be, work ambitions not as we wanted, kids tying us down, mortgage seems unrelenting and it takes true dedication to keep working together when other people and their more glamorous seeming lives might prove tempting. I think you need to focus on what you have, rather what you don't have and be continually grateful for what you have, but perhaps I'm just very lucky with my lot.

Having said that, I've been with DP for nearly 23 years and it hasn't been hearts and flowers throughout. We've been through many rough patches, but always still wanted to make it work again and stay together. I have never forgotten why i was attracted to him in the first place.

juneau Tue 21-Mar-17 11:12:58

YY to ageing and sick parents in the mix. FIL had cancer for the past two years and died in Jan and that has made things much worse. DH has always struggled with low-level depression and now he's miserable about losing his dad AND his job situation (which he's been miserable about for almost the entirety of our relationship). So he's gloomy and grumpy, short-tempered and shouty. If we had no kids I honestly think we'd call it a day as I don't think he's any happier than I am, but we DO have kids and I come from a messy background of divorce, remarriage and blended family, and there is no fucking way I want to repeat that. So we soldier on - spending our weekends doing homework and ferrying our kids to birthday parties and sports clubs and thinking longingly about how we'd REALLY like to spend the weekend if we had a choice.

TheScottishPlay Tue 21-Mar-17 11:13:00

I agree. Teens moving away from you, younger DC requiring ferried here, there and everywhere. Your ageing, your parents are ill and ageing. The pet you got when you first got married is on his last legs. Jobs are precarious and stressful, your mid-mortgage. You either put your head down and plough through it, looking forward to 'us' time again, call it a day or worse, let your eye wander for a lingering, painful end to things. It's a difficult time.
It's our 16th anniversary in July!

Truckingalong Tue 21-Mar-17 11:42:18

I'm not married but my relationship is 13 years in and it's on it's last knockings. The passion and excitement lasted a good 11 years, which is much longer than typical I know but it started to wane about 18 months ago and we are left with distant friendship at best at the minute and I don't think we're going to make it. Both 45 and in the midst of classic mid life crises!!

Esoteric Tue 21-Mar-17 11:46:51

I can assure you at 20 years it isn't all roses either even on your own, different issues

juneau Tue 21-Mar-17 11:49:04

Yes, sorry, didn't mean to exclude those in LTR relationships that aren't married. Well at least it's not just me! I do know some happy couples, but the vast majority just seem rather fed up.

You're right about this bunny "I think you need to focus on what you have, rather what you don't have and be continually grateful for what you have". To that end, I've decided we're going away for our 12th anniversary. I'm hoping my DM will agree to have our DC overnight!

TheNaze73 Tue 21-Mar-17 11:56:24

Some people get settled & stop 'trying' per se at the relationship & going into auto-pilot. Both parties get their wants, desires & needs overlooked and it goes downhill. 10-15 years married, is a sweet spot for separation

hellsbellsmelons Tue 21-Mar-17 12:28:35

Yep - 15 years in is when my ExH cheated and our relationship ended.
I think we just want to know if there is life outside of all of this.

user1479305498 Tue 21-Mar-17 12:48:54

I would definitely say my marriage went downhill around the 14 years point. I also think its the point where the rose tinted glasses of newness come off and stuff you "coped with or put up with" start to annoy. I think a big difference is these days, in the past women in particular often "put up" with stuff and overlooked bad behaviour because options were limited. These days a woman is more likley to say "stick it where the sun doesnt shine" even when no OM involved.

lollirossi Tue 21-Mar-17 13:55:46

I think this is true, in my case I have been with my husband for nearly 20 years but only married for 10 and had our daughter 5 years ago. I think having our daughter gave us a bit of a boost 5 years into our marriage but once the honeymoon phase was over and the hard work set in it hasn't been easy to maintain a connection and even harder now both our sets of parents are too elderly to help out anymore, not to mention how much extra work caring for them entails.

I feel that now between my husband and I is a constant wrangle over personal time and a lot of petty resentment over who has done what in the hosue and with our daughter. It isn't what I imagined or hoped for when we were ttc thats for sure.

I don't care to divorce or seperate and so I think we will stay together and hopefully down the line some of the spark will come back but at times I wish I could just walk away from it all. Sadly I think having kids ruins a lot of marriages or at least turns them to shit for years.

juneau Tue 21-Mar-17 14:37:26

Sadly I think having kids ruins a lot of marriages or at least turns them to shit for years.

Yes, I agree, although I have no idea what our marriage would look like now if we didn't have kids. But having them (even though they were very much wanted), has changed our life into one that bores us both half to death. We have no family nearby and our lives are ruled by term-times and holidays. During term-time we can't go away and in the holidays we can, but it's expensive and we have our kids with us all the time. We have very little privacy. We spend very little time together as a couple. However, on those very rare occasions when we do it's still lovely. I miss being a couple. I miss proper adult life.

user1479305498 Tue 21-Mar-17 14:46:22

Juneau, it also changes things I feel when they leave home. When you didnt have kids and were younger , you tended to have more of a social life I feel and then when you can, you are older, may have less incentive as you have a comfy home and heavier work commitments etc and one of you "cant be arsed" etc

Hacpac Tue 21-Mar-17 15:20:36

I think you change too. What you are in your 20's and 40's can be completely different and unless your partner grows with you then it all gets a bit crap.

They say life begins at 40 but I beg to differ. The best and most fun times of my life were from 16-40.

Kids don't help matters. Yes you love them etc etc but they are a full time and expensive hobby!

They don't thank you for it either. I have elderly parents and they do my head in to he honest.

lollirossi Tue 21-Mar-17 15:42:31

User1479 ..., I agree that as you get older and when the kids finally start to be more independent (not that I am quite there yet) your age is catching up with you, all those years of putting yourself last has taken its toll and your health, looks, energy, mind and friendships aren't what they were and so its easy just to accept a smaller world for yourself because its what you feel up to.

user1479305498 Tue 21-Mar-17 16:02:23

lollo--yes thats it-- many on here seem to feel married/partnered up life will become one funpacked social scene with more money once kids less dependent-- I havent found this, either myself or others I know, maybe for some it does, I guess its a very individual thing and also depends on how your partner has "aged" too , what you do career wise , how much money you have, where you live, etc

juneau Tue 21-Mar-17 16:04:24

Oh dear - well bang goes the 'longing for them to leave home' then! I dunno - of course we adore our kids - but they take up all our energy and time and most of the stuff we loved doing before we had them is very hard now. We take them on occasional city breaks and I still read books and sometimes we get to visit a museum. The unpredictability of DH's work and hassle of arranging a babysitter though means we rarely go out for dinner and never just on a whim (or if we do it's at 6pm with the kids in tow). I think it IS just a mid-life crisis. Oh for a helpful grandparent just down the road ...

hellsbellsmelons Tue 21-Mar-17 16:22:30

I must be very hard with no support.
I was lucky to have my mum and dad just up the road when DD was younger.
Makes time as a couple so much easier.
I feel for you!

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Tue 21-Mar-17 19:08:02

It all sounds very familiar juneau

We are have been together 19 years and married 15 years and the last few years have definitely left me wondering on a number of occasions whether divorce/separation is the better option but have ultimately ended up plodding on (at least for now)

Like you, we have no help with childcare so spend very minimal time just the two of us. Now our kids are slightly older, the end is in sight and in theory I should be looking forward to carefree times with just the two of us but the spark has fizzled out somewhat and not sure it can be reignited sadly

Rainbowcat1 Tue 21-Mar-17 19:52:33

Thanks for starting this thread it is good to hear that around this time life just feels hard. I am starting to feel like this - the longing for my old life without children. I love them dearly but I just want a bit of fun and remember me as part of a couple rather than a mummy. Sometimes it is like I am lost. I am hoping that spark still exists somewhere with my husband.

Joiningthegang Tue 21-Mar-17 23:18:12

Together 18 years, married 14 and its over from today. 7 years ago he had an affair - v young children and working part time - we made it work, I forgave him but always knew if it happened again that would be it.

It happened again

I am strangely calm

To be honest we rubbed along ok but I haven't really fancied him for a long time and the sex didn't do it for me. So I didn't.

I'm more annoyed we didn't talk about it -

To be honest this is all shit but I think we care enough to make a split amicable

My kids will be devasted and I know they will throw it in my face

We are pretending until my eldest mocks are finished

What the fuck - I only found condoms at 8 this morning

BadTasteFlump Tue 21-Mar-17 23:24:10

op that's not my experience - I've been with DH nearly 20 years and I consider myself very lucky to have a really goid, solid marriage. Most of our married friends have been together around the same amount of time give or take a few years. The ones we know that have divorced seemed to do so within a few years (5 ish?) of getting together.

And I'm sure I read somewhere that if you are still together after the first ten years, then your odds of divorcing from that point on drop sharply.

BadTasteFlump Tue 21-Mar-17 23:25:48

I hope that doesn't come across as smug btw - it's just my experience (and of what I see in RL)...

Hacpac Tue 21-Mar-17 23:32:07

A lot of people don't get divorced after 10 years because of the impact it will have on the kids though to be fair.

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