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I REALLY want my relationship to work, but it just isn't.

(30 Posts)
totheseaside Thu 08-Jun-17 14:43:31

We've tried relationship counselling. I was still making most of the effort; counsellor v liberal, wanting me to "accept" DH's unhelpful, laid back behaviours, also told me maybe I need to accept that DH doesn't communicate.
I've cancelled the counsellor as her views/ideas made me feel inadequate/unreasonable/silly which wasn't helping my self esteem.
We could have a really lovely life, we have a lovely house, lovely DCs, good jobs, he's a fabulous father. But he's a non-communicator, unambitious, tight with money, apathetic at times and quite sloppy.
It took a lot to get him to relationship counselling and him going was a major breakthrough, however, it's made me feel worse about our relationship.
I am so desperate for things to work. Is there anything else that I can do? Is taking a step back sometimes a positive move forward? I am on the verge of menatlly/emotionally/physically switching off from our relationship entirely. Is there ANYTHING that I can do to salvage what we have and maintain our lives as they are?

thestamp Thu 08-Jun-17 14:44:40

What does he say about how you feel?

totheseaside Thu 08-Jun-17 14:45:39

The same response: I'm never happy.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 08-Jun-17 14:46:36

I don't think you can do anymore than you have apart from accept that he is not fulfilling your needs as a husband and father.

Your choice if you want to stay is to put up with him but why the hell should you compromise your seemingly healthy self respect for him?

I really dislike tight people too!!!

Is he financially abusive?

Shoxfordian Thu 08-Jun-17 14:47:44

Why do you want it to work if he's "non-communicator, unambitious, tight with money, apathetic at times and quite sloppy."

Nothing attractive about any of that

thestamp Thu 08-Jun-17 14:48:10

So he believes you are unreasonable in what you want from the marriage, I suppose is an accurate summary?

In that case, no, this relationship isn't going to work.

Sorry love. I know it's really difficult. He is who he is, you are who you are, and neither of you can really expect the other to change. Won't you be happier with someone else, or on your own?

CJCreggsGoldfish Thu 08-Jun-17 14:49:14

You can't do it alone, it can only work if both of you work at it. Does he care about your feelings on this? What's his thoughts? Without sounding harsh, if he really cared he'd make more effort to compromise, perhaps he thinks you'll never leave so doesn't want to change, or just doesn't care enough and it's easier to keep plodding on than make the decision to split.

Sorry you're going through this.

totheseaside Thu 08-Jun-17 14:50:54

In the past, I would say so, but not now. There was a time that he believed he deserved more disposable money than myself because he 'earned' most of it as I had reduced to part-time after maternity leave. It made me feel very low and very dis-respected. He argues that his views have changed and he's grown up a bit, but I still see snippets of this side of him when we need things, or I want things.
I've never been in debt, never had money troubles but he makes me feel like a big spender at times when I want to.spend money on sone thing I like. I know I'm not at all.

CondensedMilkSarnies Thu 08-Jun-17 14:52:43

I think many people expect relationship counselling to 'fix' a marriage and it would be great if that happened all the time . Sometimes though,it makes you realise that the marriage is not a goer , it's sad but at least it's a conclusion and you can move forward.

totheseaside Thu 08-Jun-17 14:53:59

I would say that DH sees a lot of my wants as unreasonable. He often argues that I choose unhappy. Having been in a job that made me unhappy until recently, he has decided I'm just an unhappy person. I think I'm possibly fussier than most. But I actually love my job now, so I am capable of happy afterall.

totheseaside Thu 08-Jun-17 14:59:36

We've not long bought a new family home (12 months ago) which is beginning to take shape. DCs started going to the nearby school. I'm devastated that this may have to.end.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 08-Jun-17 15:16:01

"Is there ANYTHING that I can do to salvage what we have and maintain our lives as they are?"

Your life as it is now sounds like a half existence; that is not living.

So you would continue to be unhappy whilst he would remain a non-communicator, unambitious, tight with money, apathetic at times and quite sloppy. There is nothing attractive about all this but why are you so desperate to make it work at all?. He is patently not interested in making this work. I would look closely at his parents OP; chances are they are the very same. After all, we learn about relationships first and foremost from them. Which leads me to you.

What did you learn about relationships when growing up?.

On a wider level, just what too are you both teaching your DC about relationships here?. You're basically showing them that currently at least, all this is acceptable to you. Would you want your DC to have a relationship like this?. I think his lack of action overall has made you unhappy.

I would seek legal advice primarily because knowledge is power.

SettlingOrLucky Thu 08-Jun-17 15:20:12

You shouldn't want it to work as badly as you want it to work. That's your mistake. It's not making you happy. He's wrong for you and yet you see honour or glory in staying together? Or you're afraid of change. I don't mean that unkindly because I was afraid to leave my x for a long time before I did. So I'm posting from the perspective of having felt like you feel now and then later wondering why those irrational feelings were there.

yetmorecrap Thu 08-Jun-17 15:24:13

In my first marriage I was desparate for it to work, but I realised Iw as the one making all the effort, I ended up having a fling with a colleague who made me feel "wanted" (my hubby was always at work/football /pub with mates) I totally regret that I was the one who went off the rails and didnt have the courage to call it a day , but I was young (and he single) . Eventually I did call it a day and realised within a month, I didnt miss him much, didnt miss his behaviour and actually the thought of having it out and leaving was worse than what the actual reality was. Within 8 weeks he had met someone else and moved on. Sometimes its the "idea" of ending something thats worse than the reality. It sounds here that you dont actually much like his basic "personality" tightness I find really unattractive to be honest if its not needed. What you are seeing is "what he is" and if that is making you miserable then its unlikley to change, can you cope with years of it??

totheseaside Thu 08-Jun-17 15:26:48

I would day my strong desire for it work stems from my own dysfunctional upbringing whereby my parents spent their money on alcohol and gambling. We have a healthier life for our children and I so badly want it to a happy, functional family for them. As shallow as this may sound, I also come from quite a poor background, DCs have a financially stable life as it stands. Should we separate, I would most definitely be poor as a single parent and it would change our circumstances most definitely. I know it sounds shallow, but it's an obvious concern.

Josuk Thu 08-Jun-17 15:27:53

It's hard to tell much more from your OP - other than that you are quite unhappy.
He doesn't sound like a very easy person to live with.
However, you do sound quite strong headed too.

The way you described your counselling experience to me read more like - you went there so that they'd fix him. And when they told you that you need to change something in your attitude - you didn't like it and you quit.

You say you want to save the relationship. Do you?
It all depends on how much you (both) are willing to do, to change.
It won't work if, in your mind, the only thing that needs to change is HIM.
It may be that accepting some (not all) of what your H is like - is main obstacle for al of it working out.

Not everybody can be ambitions - you can't change that....
Not everyone can or wants to communicate all the time - although some adjustments are possible...
Apathetic - can be a sign of depression....
Sloppy - that one can definitely be fixed!

And the part that people are responsible for their own happiness - I believe that too...

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Thu 08-Jun-17 15:37:33

He doesn't sound like much fun to live with. sad

I think your experience of counselling is quite common - we go there expecting to be told we are right and they are wrong, but the essence of it is that the counsellor can't really take sides - they've presented it to you in a realistic way - this is how he is and you can't change him, all you can do is change the way you engage with him, but that won't make you happy either.

Separating is not as bad as you imagine for many people. Obviously there are compromises involved, but it's still better than living with someone who won't communicate and is tight fisted and unhelpful.

Detach, check out your options for childcare, maintenance payments, flexible working etc. I would say to look at tax credits but with the political scene as it is, the benefits you may be entitled to could change at any moment. However, there will be financial help available in some capacity. Don't let money be the reason you stay. Your DCs deserve to grow up surrounded by love with happy parents, not in a stifling environment where the only good things are material.

totheseaside Thu 08-Jun-17 15:46:35

Thanks Feedme. Lots of helpful advice.

LesisMiserable Thu 08-Jun-17 15:57:07

You've listed his faults, what are yours?

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 08-Jun-17 16:05:25

Well you've got a choice - it's not a good one, but it's a choice. You can stay and sacrifice your happiness for the status quo; but you may teach your children that they need to do this too. Or you can leave and lose the status quo but be happier.

It won't be an easy choice.

Adora10 Thu 08-Jun-17 16:17:15

I had that mindset too OP in my last relationship, even though it's shit, even though folk tell you it's shit, you desperately want it to work, I don't know if it's a female thing or a stubborn thing in that you don't want to give up! We tried for 13 years, from what you write, I'd honestly think about separating as you could waste another so many years and end up having to split out of pure anger and resentment.

Tbh, he doesn't sound very nice at all.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 08-Jun-17 16:22:36


You might be very surprised to see that you can get a decent top up from working tax credits. You would also get single person discount on your council tax bill and help with childcare costs.

Don't forget he would have to pay you a percentage of his salary each month for maintenance.

It's not right that he makes you feel bad for wanting cash - my dh would give me his last tenner if I asked for it without a second thought.

It is ironic that you don't want to expose your DC to dysfunction yet the seeds of it have already been down by witnessing this relationship.

It would be wise to set a strong example of a relationship now otherwise they will somehow be drawn into dysfunction themselves when they are adults. Our past always come back to haunt us, it truly does.

Can't you keep hold of the house?

Onceafortnight Thu 08-Jun-17 16:22:47

You ask what you can do as you really want it to work. What about trying what the counsellor suggested? That would sound obvious to me.

I understand you didn't like what you heard and you didn't agree with it but i would say it's worth a try if you are so desperate to salvage things.

totheseaside Thu 08-Jun-17 17:14:32

Onceafortnight: I have tried the counsellors suggestions for 3 weeks and have ended up feeling very resentful and angry towards DH as a result. I do not feel valued whatsoever.

Do I value him? Probably nowhere near as much as he deserves either.
I can not keep hold of the house Quite likely. There is noway if be able to afford it on my own, not even with tax credits etc. He perhaps may be able to on his earnings.

My faults Les:
Can be negative
very sensitive

rolopolovolo Thu 08-Jun-17 17:53:08

I'd go to individual counselling. Even if you divorce, it can help you come to some kind of acceptance about who he is and mediate it better.

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