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How unhappy do you need to be to leave your DH?(27 Posts)
Just wondering really...
There is no DV, and we do have some good days. We have 3 lovely happy DC.
However I am deeply unfulfilled, he has frequent mood swings and we are increasingly spending time doing separate activities.
Right now, I'm too exhausted to even contemplate leaving, but I'm curious to know what others have done.
Is it normal to potter along in an a relationship that isn't bad, but isn't good?
I think it's normal in that a lot of people do it, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.
I think if you're unhappy and have children, it's worth trying to salvage the relationship but that means you both need to actively work at it - starting with counselling perhaps.
However, I don't think it's worth pottering on in a relationship that makes you unhappy.
If you've done everything you can to make it work, and it looks like it's not going to get better, then I don't think it's worth fighting the same losing battle over and over.
We all only get one life to live. Make the choices you can to get the best out of it.
Some people fall out of love it is not uncommon, many opt for staying as "things are not that bad" until they are totally frustrated and fed up of each other that things become "bad enough" to leave.
Considering that there is a very good phrase that says "it is not divorce that damages children but witnessing the disagreements and horrible situations that preceeds it". I would say that if you are totally convinced you cannot see your DH as anything more than a good friend or a little brother, it is better to part amicably, which gives you a much better opportunity to coparent your kids effectively separately, than leaving when you are shouting, throwing offenses at each other or even waiting for an affair to happen.
What do you get out of this relationship now, what is in this for you?.
What did you learn about relationships when growing up?.
What do you want to teach your children about relationships and what do you think they are currently learning from the two of you here?. Are you really between you showing them that a loveless marriage is their "norm" too?. Would you want your children as adults to have a relationship like yours?. It sounds like you are leading separate lives. Your children see all that goes on around them and pick up on the unspoken vibes.
I would think he does not have frequent mood swings either when he is at work or in polite company. Is that really all reserved therefore for you as his family instead?. Has his behaviours made you too worn out to even contemplate leaving?.
I would also read "Too good to leave, too bad to stay" by Mira Kirshenbaum.
Staying merely for the sake of the children is a very bad idea; it places a heavy burden upon them and teaches them that their parents marriage was based on a lie. Its no legacy to leave them. It could also affect your relationship with them as adults going forward; they could well accuse you of being weak and or putting this man before them.
It's hard to quantify 'unhappiness' and there's no set level whereby you can say 'well I've reached level 5 so I will end the marriage '.
If you think there's any chance of you both trying to improve things then I would explore that first. But if you can't see this happening, then you have to do what you want , you are entitled to be happy.
I believe that all relationships have periods where things are far from satisfactory. That is life. It has ups and downs. Mood swings are unsettling and I know how upsetting they are but often they are the result of pressures at work, financial etc. Your post could have been written by me years ago when the children were young. You have three lovely children and it is often worth working your way through periods like this. At the present time, after 57 years of marriage we are happier than we have ever been. I know it's easier said than done but try just to look after each other. I know there will be people posting on this thread saying don't put up,with it but my opinion is have sticking power and it will be worth it. From conversations I have had with other people who have been married a long time it is a common problem but worth working through. I do wish you and your family happiness.
The balance gradually shifted from 75% ok to 65% ok to 55% ok and then gradually downwards until one day it's was consistently below 50%, all the time. And one day, the prospect of breaking up the marriage was less bad than the prospect of another 20 unhappy years. And he said something along the lines of 'you've been planning to leave me all along' and he was right - and instead of smoothing things over like I always had I said 'so be it. It's over'. And that was it.
I was desperately unhappy and putting up with all kinds of nasty abuse. I don't think I would have contemplated becoming a single parent otherwise; I was far too brainwashed into believing that children need two parents to go it alone.
It turns out becoming single was the best thing I ever did for myself and DD is far better off too.
I think lots of people put up with horrible or boring relationships for the kids. Most of my friends are doing that. I suppose you have to weigh it up and think about how happy you will be if you are on your own. Can you be happy on your own?
I think the answer is that you look at your life and ask yourself if it's good enough to invest the rest of your life in. If not, are both of you prepared to work on it to fix it? If not or there's no hope, then end it.
All the time you commit to an unsatisfactory life, you are missing out of the opportunity to have a satisfactory or good life.
Dreading the key in the door and wondering what mood he is in.
Walking on eggshells.
Formulating conversations in your head to ensure he wouldnt get angry.
Delighted when he went away on business or socially.
KarmaNoMore excellent post - some very good points made. I wish more people would be honest about their relationship and growing apart before the rot sets in. Has the potential to be really damaging to DCs to see their parents miserable but doing nothing about it.
People change over long periods of time and they grow apart. There is no shame in that. Life is too short.
I saw a divorce lawyer and actually seperated from DH just after Christmas. This isn't about why I fell out of love but how I felt.
I literally couldn't stand being in the same physical space as him and took to sleeping in the spare room often. I also resented doing anything at all for him or with him.The thought of waking up and seeing that face for the rest of my life made me feel queasy.
However who wants to throw away a twenty year marriage. Me telling him about the lawyer shocked him. I had tried to get him to relationship counselling before but he refused. We didn't go to counselling but had a series over a couple of months of horrendously painful talks, I mean excruciating. We have both looked at poor behaviours.
So I went from loathing to tolerating and now over the last couple of months I have been falling back in love again.
Why is he moody? has he always been like this or is it something new? I can honestly say you also need to look at your own part in this downward spiral, however bloody awful that is.
Is he willing to sit down and work things out, do you want to try?
Is he your best friend?
Could you imagine if you were never to see him again?
I would add these questions, do you still feel like kissing him? And putting pride to the side, would you really care if he had an affair?
One thing is to be afraid to loose the friendship and another one staying in a dead marriage for the sake of a friendship.
peanut that's so reassuring. I'm not overly happy but would like to hope we could be again one day.
I am in the same place OP. The only thing is that we did have counselling many times and the same problems kept coming up over and over again. I found the counselling incredibly stressful as my dh has controlling and abusive tendencies and this played out in counselling.
I have going this book very helpful not sure how to link but it's called Too good to leave Too bad I stay. It has really clarified things for me plus talking to friends and family who are all I think supportive of me should I choose to leave.
I have chosen to leave, I just haven't managed to convince him I am serious. He refuses to accept it and is furious with me because I do not want to engage any further in counselling. Counselling made our problems far far worse as my dh felt his actions and words however hurtful or destructive were all valid as they were his "perspective " ☹️
I posted a message with an almost identical title in 2009. It was like Pandora's box, once I started to really examine the relationship I realised it was much worse than I had been telling myself. I told him it was over and moved out with the DC in 2009. Best thing I ever did.
Go look at John Gottman books and vids on YouTube. From what I can gather, a marriage goes through 'seasons' so maybe you need to look at the science and research to see if you can establish where you and your partner are at. I see lots of relationships ending because of boredom and people chasing 'the one' partner who will somehow magically transform their lives and give them excitement but I realised this is 'Limerence'. Go google it, very interesting...
I think a lot of people do it. And I agree in a long marriage there's good times and not so good times. If one partner is depressed or stressed it can impact on everyone. I don't agree with leaving at the first sign of difficulty. But when you decide you can't stay then it's time to leave.
Thanks everyone, some really interesting and thoughtful responses.
In answer to the question about what I saw growing up, my parents were very happy together and I honestly never saw them argue, so perhaps my expectations can be too high at times as to what is normal.
I will check out the website and book recommendations.
Someone asked if I want to kiss him, not right now no. Would I be gutted if he had an affair? Yes. It is all quite confusing!
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experiences, it makes me feel a little less lonely x
Bibbedee .John Gottman stuff looks v interesting, thank you.
Haven't read through whole thread but if you saw no conflict in your family then maybe your tendency is to not talk about things on your mind? Less said least mended? I'd talk to your DP about your thoughts and explore those books too. x
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