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I'm not sure what I'm going to achieve by writing this but I need to get it off my chest and I can't with any family or friends. I've been married for 11 years, together 17. We have two amazing kids who I adore. He already had 3 others, two different mother's. There's 20 year age gap. When we met I was 18 and head over heels in love, so proud to be with him, so happy to leave home and be with someone who 'loved' me. Not many people mentioned the age gap, my parents didn't seem to care and if they did they didnt say anything. His parents were fine. Only his ex wife and a couple of others didn't like it. Everyone said how good we were together and what a great looking couple we were. He spoilt me, candlelit baths, meals, clothes etc. When I found out he had a couple of children by accident about 2 months into it he apologised and said he thought he would loose me and didn't think I would stay with him long enough for it to be an issue. How lucky he was to have me etc. He was divorced and said how they hadn't been compatable, she didn't understand him etc etc. I was secretly thrilled he had kids, I had always been broody and made a huge effort to have fun with them and be a family at the weekends. They were 8 and 10 and we always have had a good relationship, still have now I'm a granny in my 30s! My husband was a brilliant Dad to them. About another month later I found out he had a son as well. He had been born to another woman and he had walked away when he was 2. He told me she had taken drugs when pregnant and had an affair with a friend, ended up hating each other and neither families supported the relationship either. I was gutted. More so that he hadn't been straight with me from the start and if he was hiding that what else was he hiding. I then accidentally came across divorce papers that said he had an affair which is what caused the divorce. I felt like I had been hit in the stomach. Someone I was so in love with and adored was lying to me, I remember going off on my own for a walk sobbing my heart out. I felt like I couldn't go home, I didn't have much of a relationship with my parents, all my friends had gone because I spent 100% of my time with him and most of my best friends had been boys and he was so jealous of them I had deleted all those contact details so make a point how much I loved him. He came and found me crying, I explained why I was upset and he said it was ridiculous, that it wasn't an affair but just a friend and her name was mentioned just as a financial thing because it made the divorce cheaper (at 18 I hadn't a clue about that and had to accept his word) Years later I found out it was a lie and that there were ither affairs. I feel I'm not really getting to the point but also feel it's important to write everything just incase it suddenly becomes clear where I am heading. So fast toward 3 years we were trying to buy a house but had to save so much for a deposit and the house prices kept going up and up. We eventually managed to but decided we didn't want to work 7 days a week to live in a rabbit hutch. We spoke with his two girls and all decided we would move to France for a better quality life. After a huge amount of research we eventually found somewhere. The plan was that both the girls would come as they werent happy with their Mum but a week before we left they both got cold feet. All the wheels were in motion for us to move, van booked in, people waiting for us at the other end, dogs jabbed ready to go etc so we decided to do it anyway and convinced ourselves and them that holidays would be amazing. I don't regret moving to this day. I made loads of friends, we had a brilliant wedding (spoiled for me by my MIL and husband not standing up for me and I still can't look at photos with a sick feeling) but on the surface it was wonderful. Our house is huge, more land and space than we could wish for. We had our children which was a joint decision and I loved every minute of being pregnant and having them. My husband didn't seem interested though, every time the baby kicked and I asked to feel it it was like a huge chore for him. He certainly didn't feel the magic and excitement I had and I started getting upset inside that it dawned on me that this was my first time but of course his fourth. Maybe he was bored with babies or knew how awful being a parent was (you question everything when pregnant!) I didn't understand but I was very hurt that he didn't want to be part of it. Even during delivery he was bored and I felt more inconvenienced by it all, went off to have a 3 course meal at one point! So my first baby was born and I was in love again. My husband did go gooey eyed over him initially but he wasnt interested in helping, changing nappies, doing any night feeds etc. He would groan if the baby woke him crying, would never be the one to get up to him. I reasoned that he had to work, I was breastfeeding so it was easier for me, we had a naturally stronger bond. Inside though I was deeply hurt. All he seemed to ask was when we could have sex again but I had no drive whatsoever. A mixture of sleepless nights but also feeling so detached from him, I felt at one point he didn't want me at all, just the sex and I think if he could have, it would have been with anyone. Things gradually improved and a went onto have my second. Exactly the same scenario. I've been the caregiver, the feeder, the housekeeper. I went back to England frequently on my own with them. He never seemed interested in joining us and if he ever did it would be so stressful as he couldn't deal with any bad behaviour (even though they were amazing, his idea if bb was crying for food/drink etc) So I felt like I was a single parent, made sure we had loads of playmates for my own sanity as well as their well-being. I tried to get out the house as much as possible because I found it so frustrating to be at home without help. I would then get moaned at do not being at home to do the housework or cook for him. I could have dealt with that if he had been working hard and looking after us financially at least but he changed his job when my youngest was little and started a new business. It's almost like he feels like he should be retired and that he has done his time of working hard. The work is there to be had but he doesn't get on and do it, always procrastinating, always saying it's too hard even though he gets there eventually. We have been having financial problems ever since I had the babies. When they both were in playschool/school I started to work to bring some money in but it was commission based and didnt work out so I changed a few months ago to bring in some cash. It pays for shopping and school cantines etc but not the bills and the mortgage. Last year I had a call from my brother in law. He was furious. My husband had propostioned my sister of all people. He had invented a fake email and contacted her to see if she was up for any 'fun' and no-one needed to know. She didn't act on it but told her husband who contacted me and showed me the emails. I can't tell you how sick I felt. He pretty much blamed me, told me that if we had regular sex he wouldnt have to go looking for it, that is what drives him and that he also why has no motivation to work. I'm not sure if it's just me but I can't just 'have sex' I need to be close to someone emotionally not to be just a body. I said that if we didn't see a therapist I was leaving him. He agreed. We went, I cried a lot, he spent a lot of time blaming me. I agreed to change if he did. We couldn't afford any more sessions so they stopped. Things improved for a few months but it's now all gone to pot again. His father died who I was also close to. He is devasted of course, so are our children but he won't share his grief, he won't talk and wont even help the kids with theirs. His mum is left on her own and her health is failing. I'm trying to be as patient as possible, I know he is having a hard time but he is so grumpy, really miserable, probably depressed and isn't working as he should. He even has moved into the guest room without even discussing it. I've left him be and got on with family life, consoling the kids etc, keeping them distracted. They adore their Dad, when he wants to be he is fantastic with them, does school runs, built them a go kart etc but otherwise he won't help with homework or day to say stuff except cleaning when he gets annoyed that not enough is being done and the occasional junk food he cooks. Last night he told me he was probably going to go back to the UK to live with his Mum as he couldnt leave his crippled mum on her own. This is the first time the subject has been brought up. Totally out the blue, without asking my advice. Without asking if she could live here. He obviously thinks that it would be better for him if that's what happens. No thought for the children who would be devasted (and in all honesty this is the reason I havent left him) No thought for me doing all the parenting on my own and god knows how I would cope financially. He isn't trained to do anything apart from a niche job that would be sucessful in the UK but expensive to set up. The biggest thing for me is the children. I decided a long time ago that their happiness was more important than mine. I bought them into this world, and they are my responsibility. i had a hard time with my parents and feel very unloved from it and its the worst feeling ever, I dont want anyone to feel that, especially not my kids. Every friend that I know who has divorced have children with problems. My sister is a teacher and I hear stories all the time of kids from broken homes whose personality has changed, whose lives have fallen apart. I am so close to my kids but I get the feeling my oldest would blame me somehow and I don't trust my husband not to keep things fair and honest. I also don't trust him to be a good Dad if we did split up. He lets them watch tv all the time, will sit for hours without communicating. Will happily feed them junk food and wont be a help with school work. Im really quite strict in that screen time ia only 30 mins a day, they need to help in the house and family time is important. He only really makes an effort with his adult kids if they do with him first. So I feel by splitting up Im effectively severing their relationship as well. Can I be responsible for that? I don't think I can. I can't bear the thought of loosing the relationship I have with them. I had it in the back if my mind I would put up with it all, do things for me that make me happy and not rely on him for my happiness which is what I have been doing until now. I thought that maybe when they have flown the nest someone will be waiting for me to sweep me off my feet 😕 Really don't even know what I'm asking by writing this on here, maybe it'll help just to get it off of my chest but if you made it to the end thank you for listening to me and sorry if I'm babbling and jumping about, I guess it's the way my thought process is right now.
Goodness. The answer is simple. Leave him. He's no father anyway so the kids will be fine. You're still very young so can easily build a new life.
I honestly don't know how you've stuck him so long. You need to leave him. He sounds so selfish.
Believe it or not, the children will barely notice, he's not there for them much anyway. Apart from which, he's still in touch with his adult children, isn't he? Ergo, he'll probably keep in contact. Let's face it, you do it all, he does nothing. What's going to change if he isn't there: fewer money worries, no grumpy bugger hanging around the house, nobody overturning your decisions regarding food, screen time etc. Life will actually be easier.
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