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How many "little" things before you call time?

(17 Posts)
dublinruth Tue 16-May-17 22:32:32

Just that really. When you're in a long term relationship and there's no major issues like DV or affairs, what does it take before all the small incidents add up and make you leave?

I'm really struggling with this one. In our relationship there's been a fair few "incidents", mostly revolving around what I perceive to be selfishness/lack of consideration on his part.

Some of the good things: we have a very similar and shared sense of humour, we laugh a lot, everyday almost. Shared long term goals for life. Shared interests. Shared morals.

Some of the bad things: fairly different approaches to parenting. Arguments over household chores frequently. His occasional but regular selfish / irresponsible acts which leave me feeling frustrated and unappreciated.

When do you decide all the little things are too much? Has anyone left a relationship in similar circumstances? Did you regret it?

Tiredbutnotyetretired Tue 16-May-17 23:09:44

Your relationship sounds like my ltr, we were together a very long time but once i was pregnant that is when those little things started to really bother me, i dont know what advice to give really but the one thing that was a deal breaker for me in the end was the parenting styles being different, he was a complete disciplinarian to the extreme and spoke to our toddler like they were 15, and then didnt help very much, and prioritised computer games. Not a really bad person in hindsight ie never gave me reason to rhink he would cheat, didnt do drugs etc (i met someone worse when i left, out of the frying pan into the flames of emotional hell), but i just got sick of him, i still love him and we have been apart a few years now but i love him in a way that i dont want him to come to any harm and i care deeply about him, the little things, over time, killed the passion for me and i was so bored with all the selfishness and lack of affection in the end. I hope you get some better advice than what im waffling on with here but if your asking will you have regrets? If your that way inclined (as i am) then i think maybe you will SOMETIMES. But, on a positive note, my life is my own, i answer to no one, i manage just fine without him and lots of other little things that irritated are no longer a worry. Yet i am sat here lonely sometimes, distrustful of what this generation has turned into (stories on here of infidelity/people hiding things on social media/ghosting etc), and confused. The 'safe' option seemed so much easier, emotionally.
I would think it through long and hard (took me a couple of years to say those words 'its over'). Maybe someone will come and post a more positive outcome but it hasnt totally been that way for me.

Tiredbutnotyetretired Tue 16-May-17 23:14:02

I think the reason its been so difficult for me is that he never let go, doesnt even go out with friends anymore, told me many times he is waiting for me to come back, i would feel guilt to settle down with someone new, and i feel 'stuck'

Ratbagcatbag Tue 16-May-17 23:23:40

Took me 18 months from realising I was utterly fed up. He was fab 98% of the time. The other 2% chipped away until there was nothing left.
A stupid argument about cake before Christmas did it. Five days I mulled over my decision, and then I told him. I've had my own place six weeks now. Best decision ever. Still friends and still coparent well.

TheNaze73 Wed 17-May-17 07:34:51

I think the small things become the big things eventually. Do you think he'll be saying the same sort of things about parenting styles etc?

ShatnersWig Wed 17-May-17 07:54:22

Occasional but regular? That doesn't make sense... Anyway....

It's never a one-way street, though, is it OP? Your partner, in all probability, gets niggled by little things you do that wind him up. He may be as irritated by your difference in parenting as you are. Doesn't mean he's in the wrong, or that you are.

The number of relationships where neither partner does little things that can get on the other's nerves some times are really very small. Even the happiest relationships will have a "he never puts the loo seat down" or "she cuts her toenails in bed". Doesn't automatically mean the love has gone.

Sometimes people don't or can't change and that's how they are and it's incompatibility. If these niggles outweigh all the good things, then you should leave. But in all likelihood, you won't find someone who has no niggles at all.

Open and honest communication and some compromise or acceptance is needed in all relationships.

Yellowaardvark Wed 17-May-17 09:49:09

I think it depends on how much love you have left if that makes sense. I do understand as well as am in a similar boat.

Hermonie2016 Wed 17-May-17 13:27:45

Fairly different approaches to parenting shouldn't be a deal breaker unless he's neglectful and abusive.
Household chores can be a big deal if it's about lack of respect..i.e you are just supposed to clear up after him.It could be different standards which you and him need to work on.My lovely sister has really unreasonable expectations and I'm not sure anyone could successful house share with her without some degree of conflict.

Selfish acts, depends when and how he acts afterwards.If he lets you down when you need him the most and he never takes responsibility that could be a deal breaker.

isitjustme2017 Wed 17-May-17 13:31:20

If 'little' things are building up and grating on your more and more, this is usually a sign that your relationship just isn't as strong as it used to be.
Essentially it sounds like he hasn't actually changed, things are just bothering you more.
I'm separating from STBXP under similar circumstances after 16 years. The 'little' things weren't that little though but they chipped away at me until I couldn't stand it anymore. He feels like its come out of the blue but, for me, its been building up for years.

KeyChange Wed 17-May-17 13:41:09

It's difficult isn't it? Mine cheated so the decision was forced on me in the end, but leading up to it I found myself regularly thinking "this can't be the rest of my life" - once baby came along his crapness was magnified, I felt like I did it all and as though I had two kids.

It's put me off jumping into a new relationship. I think you inevitably have to accept a level of compromise and that level is very subjective, eg I could have forgiven him never doing dishes if he demonstrated any love or respect for me, but he didn't.

Tiredbutnotyetretired Wed 17-May-17 13:43:37

Itsjustme2017 exactly! And when i decided to call time and he tried to salvage, he said he couldnt understand why. When i explained about all these things he said 'oh i thought u were just nagging' sad

dublinruth Wed 17-May-17 19:36:24

There's some really interesting points, that you everyone.

I think the worry is whether I am simply expecting too much. I know that not every relationship is perfect, but it's hard to know what to do when it's lots of little things instead of one big event.

My belief is that if we ever had a DC together, he would either go one way or another - he'd step up to the plate and stop his selfish acts (usually to do with the pub) and be an excellent hands on parent, or it would get no better and I would feel 10X more angry about the little things and I'd be left with a young child seething over his lack of help.

It's so hard to know whether a relationship which is fundamentally a really good one but peppered with 3-4 weekly arguments over the same issues again and again is worth sticking around for!

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 17-May-17 20:48:44

3-4 weekly arguments! Over the same issues! That's not occasional, that's all the bloody time! It's not small incidents

3-4 arguments every week is not a good relationship. That's a terrible relationship. A really really bad relationship.

Is your thinking that the relationship is good except when it is bad?

A bit like it is always sunny, except when it rains, it only rains 3-4 times a week, so Manchester is a sunny place?

If you are having that many rows then your relationship is bad. It is that simple. That's kind of one of the definitions of a bad relationship.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 17-May-17 20:57:02

Selfish lazy man "steps up" and becomes caring sharing man putting others before himself when wife has baby and everyone is feeling shit, said no headline ever.

Selfish people are selfish. It's not a jumper they wear and can take off, it is how they view the world. Despite a shit load of arguments, despite you being unhappy, he's still doing the same selfish shit, right? He's selfish. That's him. Forever.

dublinruth Wed 17-May-17 21:33:57

Sorry, I wasn't clear in my PP. I meant an argument every 3-4 weeks, not 3-4 arguments a week. If that was the case I'd be long gone!

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 17-May-17 22:10:40

That's still a lot.

Are the arguments really about the same thing every time?

Yellowaardvark Thu 18-May-17 10:34:33

I found the bottom section of this article really useful:

waitbutwhy.com/2016/09/marriage-decision.html

Especially this part: "If there were a big green button in front of me that, if pressed, would make me fully single, where everything has been worked out with getting our things from each other’s apartments, where everyone in my life already knows, and where I’m totally emotionally recovered and moving on—in fact, I have a date tonight—would I press the button?"

I think I realised yes - not acted on it yet but it's quite an uncomfortable realisation.

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