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Should you stay together for the sake of the children

(38 Posts)
MissMiss1 Sat 21-Oct-17 22:47:39

I'm in a relationship with my partner of 17 yrs and have two children. In the beginning it was exciting, it was a long distance relationship and fun.
But as time has gone on it's gone downhill
We now have two children, we hardly talk when the children are not around. We sleep in separate beds, spend the evenings apart once the children have gone to bed.
I love him when he's not being mean but I'm not IN love with him
I feel like I need something more in my life, I need to feel wanted and loved.
But it would break my children's heart if we split
Do I put my happiness first, or theirs? 😢

Wolfiefan Sat 21-Oct-17 22:49:41

Not being mean?
If he's mean you need to get out.
Your relationship is what your kids will come to see as normal.

user1471449805 Sat 21-Oct-17 22:57:14


OliviaBenson Sat 21-Oct-17 22:58:05

No no no no no.

My mum stayed and it's fucked me and my siblings up.

ImTakingTheEssence Sat 21-Oct-17 22:58:16

No you shouldnt my parents were awful together it was a relief when they split.
Kids can sense this, its better to have two patents happy than a household thats miserable.

justinelibertine Sat 21-Oct-17 22:59:25

I stay cos I don't trust him with DD. He would definitely fight for equal access and most likely get it due to MH problems I have had in the past.
Despite me showing and telling every time, he cannot shower/get her dressed (think clothes on backward) her in the morning, if I had a lie in (I don't now) she would be left in her nightime nappy until mid morning. He lets her hair go wild, doesn't brush it off her face. Always forgets to give her a drink at mealtimes if I am not there. Doesn't give her enough food, ie half a sandwich only, no yoghurt or fruit. He also lets her trash things and thinks it is her playing. And he cannot wipe her bum properly after a poo.
I say cannot, forget and lets. I mean he is a selfish, lazy wanker who likes the idea of parenting but can only be left for max 2 hours.
That is why I stay.

MissMiss1 Sat 21-Oct-17 23:01:24

When we get along everything is ok, he does love us and does everything he can
But he can also be mean, having nasty little digs, moaning about everything and he doesnt even like the children play fighting
I'm just scared that they won't cope and it'll be my fault

SavageBeauty73 Sat 21-Oct-17 23:02:18

No. Your kids will resent you forever!

RavenclawRealist Sat 21-Oct-17 23:03:57

I can’t give you the opinion of a parent in that situation! However growing up my parents did exactly this! It’s no better think about it, if your children are growing up seeing is this as the major relationship model in their life do you want them to think is normal? Kids pick up on everything the best thing for them, is to see happy parents to emulate! No one can advise you what to do but if you feel there are problems ask yourself can you can work on them with therapy ect if not then would you be happier alone? You happiness and theirs are not mutually exclusive! If your happy you teach them the importance of being happy!

LuxuryWoman2017 Sat 21-Oct-17 23:04:03


letsdolunch321 Sat 21-Oct-17 23:04:11

My feelings are stay together if it is not effecting the childrens life & it is convenient to you ...... if it is effecting the childrens upbringing and effecting you ask your partner to look for alternative accomodation etc.

You get one life, BE HAPPY

MissMiss1 Sat 21-Oct-17 23:05:29

I just sometimes feel that I need some love and affection, I look at others and sometimes crave a loving relationship 😩

squaresandsquares Sat 21-Oct-17 23:07:31

I've left my 'p' recently and it's amazing. I'm so relieved. I'm free to have a proper relationship when the time comes

SherlocksDeerstalker Sat 21-Oct-17 23:08:17

NO. I used to cry myself to sleep at night as a child wishing my parents would get divorced. At age 9.

llangennith Sat 21-Oct-17 23:13:58

No. My horrid mum kicked out my gentle dad when I was 12 and 'allowed' him back when I was 14. Loved my dad but wished they hadn't got back together as I hated the rows and bad atmosphere.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Sat 21-Oct-17 23:19:03

Never stay for the kids. Ever. My parents did, and I wished they hadn't. It was a toxic atmosphere for years, and now they're knocking the door of 70 and will never leave the other despite my dad's EA behaviour for decades and his multiple affairs since I was a small child.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 21-Oct-17 23:19:07

Don't blame your children for you being too scared to make a change.

Break your children's hearts if you split? What tosh. Are you planning to run away to another country and stop him from ever seeing them again? Probably not. So, they will still have a father.

They will have him to themselves every other weekend and a a night in the week at least. They'll probably have a better relationship with him.

I wish to God my parents had divorced when I was still a child. The cheeky buggers blame us too, they expect us to be grateful they stayed together for the sake of the children.

I spent years trying to work out what they thought was so great that they were giving us. Then I got older and friends started divorcing and I saw that the sake of the children thing is a big fat lie people tell themselves when they are too scared to end the relationship. It isn't ever about creating a loving secure environment for the children.

EmeraldIsle100 Sat 21-Oct-17 23:22:00

Definitely not. It's a matter of time before he becomes mean to his children. Babies are a walk in the park compared to challenging teens and when that starts he will be a nasty mean father. Do yourself and your children a favour and leave.

wannabestressfree Sun 22-Oct-17 10:02:42

I must admit I agree with @RunRabbitRunRabbit... if you weren’t so melodramatic ‘break their hearts’ then children are generally excepting of the status quo.
We stayed for you is the worse excuse ever. Negates your needs as a person in your own right and that’s no life.
You can do it!

MorrisZapp Sun 22-Oct-17 10:08:47

Mumsnet is oddly split on this issue. If you're not in love with your dh you're meant to leave and be happy or your kids will hate you.

But if you meet someone else then leave, you've torn a family apart and your kids will rightly never forgive you.

It's a funny one.

You say your dh is mean, so I think you know you probably should leave. It's hard though because you have a nice home etc and it all seems scary. Lots of people do stay, even people without kids.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 22-Oct-17 10:12:42

All this about "breaking the childrens' hearts" if you were to split is a lot of melodrama. Have you actually asked them?.

Better to be apart and happier than to be together and as miserable as you both are now.

Your children likely know far more than either of you care to realise about the state of your relationship. They pick up on all the vibes both spoken and unspoken and sound travels too. They certainly notice that you hardly talk and sleep separately. What you are also showing them between you is that a loveless marriage or relationship is their "norm" too. You stay together for your own reasons; not because or for them. That is really selfish of the two of you.

Staying for the children is never a good idea because it teaches them that their parents' relationship was based on a lie and its a terribly heavy burden to place upon a child. It really messes with their heads and relationships as well and all because their parents were themselves too selfish themselves to think of anything other than their own needs and wants.

BitchQueen90 Sun 22-Oct-17 10:19:05

I am a child of divorced parents, I was not heartbroken or anything like that, I barely gave it a second thought growing up.

I am also a single parent to DS, my exh is involved, we co parent much better now we are separated, my DS is a happy little boy.

hingedspeculum Sun 22-Oct-17 10:45:13

OP, you deserve to feel wanted to feel loved.

The upset your children feel about their parents separating and upheaval in their lives will be short term. Children need their parents to parent them together - a romantic relationship between their parents isn't necessary for that. You cannot martyr yourself through your children and sacrifice all your happiness and self worth.

What is far more long term is the guilt and resentment your children will be burdened with when they adults themselves and understand what self worth, respect and love are within relationships. They will see your suffering and see that you sacrificed your own happiness for them. I am now in my late twenties and find it very difficult to rationalise what they put me through in order to carry on with the guise of a romantic relationship. I feel failed by the both of them. They stayed together for me which just meant all living under one roof in abject misery together.

Roomba Sun 22-Oct-17 10:55:26

Don't stay for the children. I say that as someone who stayed with an emotionally abusive man for far too long, because I thought leaving him would create an absolute nightmare for my kids short term, and unhappiness longer term. I was very wrong, my children have coped wonderfully and my eldest tells me everything is so much nicer now he doesn't have to live with parents who argue all the time.

I am so much happier, my ex is happier (he's married someone else now) and my kids are well adjusted and happy right now. I couldn't bear the thought of them growing up and mirroring our relationship pattern, which was the push I needed to leave him in the end.

WhatAPunch Sun 22-Oct-17 11:53:00

I don't think I would dismiss the idea of how sad they will be as melodramatic. I think the end of a family is very very sad. If you leave your children will most likely experience deep sadness.

I left a year ago and every now and again we still have sad moments where my children need a cuddle and to be allowed to feel sad and angry that we aren't all together.

I think it's difficult if they haven't experienced blazing rows. I think they can "feel" the difference as there was certainly a lot of depression/anxiety about the relationship when we were together which must have affected them. But I think it must be easier for them to grasp things are better if they were more explicitly aware of the problems.

But the previous posters are right that they won't be heartbroken. They do cope. I have been amazed at their resilience and how quickly they adapt to change. They are inspirational to me when I struggle.

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