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Midlife crisis?(22 Posts)
So for the past seven years I have been in a loving relationship and have three young children with my partner. We were not engaged but talking about marriage and buying a house. We had quite amassed quite a bit of debt as my partner was unemployed for a while and we stupidly didn't pay council tax or credit cards took out loans etc etc.
4 weeks ago we were told we had 2 weeks to find £560 or else bailiffs would be coming to our house. This put a massive strain on general life. My partner was working and had a good job but we rarely saw any of his wages due to it going on paying off our debts.
Anyway, 3 weeks ago, we had a row, being totally truthful it wasn't a major row just a normal row. In this row my partner cried (HE NEVER cries. His dad died when he was 15 and he didn't cry then!) and two days later he moved out. For those two days we didn't really talk. The atmosphere was awful I would shout at him (in anger) "Just go. Just leave" which he didn't do until two days after the first argument. The first night he slept in his car. He said many things to me like "You will find someone better" "I don't deserve this family" When I cried he said things like "Don't waste your tears on me. I'm not worth it" His mum lives next door and so the day after he slept in his car, I went to his mums so she could see her grandchildren and told her everything. She was distraught and forced him to sleep in her spare room. He hasn't told his mum anything. I told her everything as I don't really get on with my mum so I had to vent to someone.
In the three weeks we have been apart he hasn't acted like his usual self. I'm not 100% sure he wants the relationship to end as he has refused to cut ties properly. He still comes to see the children but when he's with them he seems very distant and not in the moment. Where he works he can sometimes get free things such and he has brought home some baby products for he girls, candles for me and even a fit bit style watch. When he comes and puts the girls to bed he hovers about like he doesn't want to leave, if I tell him he can stay he won't and goes to his mums.
Under normal circumstances he's a rather sociable person. Goes for a pint weekly with his best friend. Chats to people at work in his break. But since he moved out he hasn't. He hasn't told anyone about the break up. The only person who knows is one person he works with, and they only know because they found him sleeping in his car the first night he left.
As he is living next door, I know when he's home and when he's not and he hasn't left his mums to go anywhere other than work. He has a severe eating disorder and his diet is limited, and for the past few weeks I'm not sure he's eaten. Not even his mum has seen him eat. I've spoken to her and she has said all he does is come home, say hello to her. Tells her he's going for a shower, goes for a shower. Comes down says he's going bed. And sits in her box room. There's no TV in the box room either so he's literally alone with his own thoughts or sleeping.
The problem I have is on two occasions since the split, have said some horrid things to him. Blackmailed him etc which I know I'm wrong to do.
In a nutshell, before he left we were in quite a bit of debt, threatened with bailiffs. Our house was a building site as we employed (accidentally) cowboy builders and they left it worse than when they started and with it being Christmas he was put on overtime so works 6 days on, 12 hour days and two days off.
My question is what do I do? I don't feel like this split is permanent and I genuinely believe he is struggling with some form of breakdown or depression or something. He is such a bottler and keeps all his emotions in. His dad died 17 years ago and he has never spoke to anyone about that. I've asked him to try and work our relationship our, he has never said he doesn't want to just says "I have nothing in me to give" he's admitted up until that argument he was happy and wanted this relationship. He's also admitted me misses me, he still loves me. I know there isn't anybody else for a fact. He still has photos of both of us on his social media and whatsapp photos etc.
I do want our relationship to work but I just don't know how to go about it and if/how I can help him!
I'm still unclear, after reading, what you want to know from this?
I take it you have tried talking to him in a direct way about what's happening, your feelings, and his, etc?
Contact step change. They will help reduce the mass of debt to a small monthly payment.
Looks like he is struggling emotionally.
You have also been abusuve towards him so it’s quite common for people to breakdown living under those conditions.
So on that note I would not recommend that you reconcile
Was he like this before the row? Because from reading this, he's been working with you to help pay off debts, you had a normal row, and you shouted at him until he left. Since he left you've been horrible to him and he's probably lost and missing both you and the kids. I don't think his behaviour sounds unreasonable.
What was the row about? If you really think you've been in the wrong you need to come clean, apologise, tell him you love him (do you love him?) and ask him to come home.
He feels like a failure as a man. He feels as if he has been beaten down and beaten down and eventually broken.
He may need professional help. Can you and his mother at least get him to see his GP?
I was mainly looking on how to move forward with things. And get us into a place where we can be amicable and nice and sort things out. The main problem I have, is I feel like again he's bottling things up but I know he won't open up willingly and I have no idea how to get him to open up.
I couldn't even tell you what the row was about now, it was a general normal every day row. Wasn't particularly bad. Which makes I all the more strange. Under normal circumstances we had a very good relationship but with the debts, the stresses of job changes etc it appears to have got too much. In the seven years we were together he has lost one job, (semi self inflicted!) he then spent some time unemployed but refusing to claim benefits as he was convinced he would walk into another job, it took 6 months for him to claim JSA. He then took a 0 hour contract Job. Then found another job which the company went bust and he's now in his job. We have had 3 children our youngest has been poorly and spent many weeks in hospital. Up until recently we had cleared quite a bit of debt and we were moving forward until this debt came out of the blue which completely threw us in just unsure of how to move forward.
Has asked on here as google give unrealistic ideas such as no contact, only talk about kids but then some say carry on as normal and I don't know what to do for the best
Okay. I think just try to be "normal", but avoid arguments. If either you or he are getting angry in a discussion, you need to take a step back and try again when you're both calm and can articulate it in a calm way, without "emotive" language.
Really try your best not to take anything which triggers you emotionally personally, as that will not help you resolving things. My OH prolly has BPD, and the last thing to do with them is to take what they say personally, much as repeated provocation will eventually yield results.
Take everything one day at a time and deal with the immediate problems (like the bailiff). Step by step eventually you can both come out of this, but you do need to cooperate.
Which brings me to my next thing - if he can't/won't cooperate after you've adhered to the above, there's not very much you can do. You either stick a shit situation or give it the heave ho. Sorry to be so stark.
To add to that, in the three weeks I don't feel I've coped well. When we had the argument as it took him two days to leave. Due to him being so distant I think I probably went into self defence mode and told him to leave so I could reaffirm to myself "see he was going to leave from the start" type thing.
Then I've switched from begging for him back to telling him not to come back to begging to snapping. I've only snapped twice at him since he's left.
No I totally know what you mean. The problem is, he seems like he doesn't want to be apart. For example on Saturday I let my oldest two girls stay up late to watch XFactor. They are 6 and 4 in January so we stayed up, had snacks had dominoes etc and he popped over and when my almost 4 year old was almost asleep on the sofa and we put the girls to bed he seemed like he was loving the time together. His mum has said that he was hovering by her door and kept saying things like "should I go check on them" "of I'll see what she's doing for the elf on the shelf etc"
I feel like it's going to take time apart but I don't know how long or how to help him with his demons.
Sounds like a breakdown, be as supportive as you can. People need love the most when they deserve it the least.
That's the problem I have. He really struggles to open up. He has chronic headaches (brain tumours run in the family) so he has many MRIs. Last week he said he had a doctors appointment after both me and his mother told him he needed to see someone and it turns out he went for his headaches.
I don't know if that was always the plan or if he bottles talking about what he needed to do went to talk about headaches instead.
I know I need to help him, but I don't know how.
@louiseandhercubs - it's really down to whether you believe you can stick the situation as it is or not. I've been in a situation I couldn't stomach for over 10 years, because the alternative was living without my children, and I "had" to do it. It will almost definitely be harder and take longer than you think now, but you've got to decide how much of the rest of your life you're prepared to devote before you cut your losses, in for a penny in for a pound, etc. That's it in a nutshell.
And I guess let him know that you're there for him, in every way, when he's ready/able. That kind of reassurance could help quite a lot on its own.
As it is, I might be able to because the children aren't affected and ofcourse they are my priority. They think daddy is staying at nannys because he's working nights. He still comes to see them. He still takes them out on his day off.
I grew up without my biological dad and it killed me so I'm doing anything I can to avoid that for my children.
I genuinely believe there will come a point, when he will want to come home. Because for me, it's been too sudden if that makes sense. The original argument was on Wednesday evening but on he's admitted on Wednesday morning he was delighted and so happy with our relationship. But I don't know how long it would take for him to snap out of it, because he's such a bottler. He doesn't even talk
Do you think you could get him to joint counselling so that he might learn to "talk"?
I'm not sure I could, he's never in his life spoken about his feelings. Even long before I came into his life. His dad died 17 years ago and he hasn't spoken to his mum about it. Even when they have "remember when" conversations, he clams up. He was very close to his dad so it must have hit him hard
I also wonder, as I'm really close to his mum, I could in theory do NC I could text her tell her to tell him that the kids are with her and that he can see them and work it that way. But I don't know if that's for the best.
Also this week is very hectic for my girls. He is usually home from work around 6:15-6:20 and as my oldest daughter is usually in bed for 7 yet this week is the week of her nativity so she's been doing that, sports club as she's on the athletic team and choir practice she has been in bed with her sisters at 5:30-6 because she's so drained and I hate to come across like I'm stopping him seeing the kids but I can't help it
You spent 2 days telling him to leave so he did. You've also been horrid to and blackmailed him a couple of times, since he left.
You expect him to come back and are concerned that he's not acting normally? I imagine the guy is struggling to understand what's going on TBH.
The stress won't be helping, it does sound like he feels like a failure and is struggling with self worth but equally you've given him some really mixed messages, if you actually want this relationship to continue.
I know I have and that's where I really really kick myself. The main reason I told him to leave was because he originally said "let's take it day by day" but then he was really very distant so I suppose I wanted some kind of reaction to kind of kick start something in him. I knew he was different because on our original argument he cried, in general I don't know any man who cried but especially with him as he is a bottler that was big for him.
My aim was never to make him feel like a failure, even since he left I have always made sure he knows he is an amazing father. Because he is.
I do want the relationship to continue, and I do want our family back but I also want it to be back to how it was before this argument. He said he was happy then.
But I also have three children that I have to be strong for. Whilst they aren't aware of the split, if they see mummy crying. They will soon clock on.
I also feel like with his decision being so sudden that it's not a genuine decision and it's one made up of stress and anger. And I also don't know how long this phase could last.
He seems unwilling to try but hasn't actually said "I don't want to" but things like "I have nothing left in me" "I have no fight left" etc
Update - I've repeatedly asked him why "he can't do it" as he says and he can't give an answer. I've also told him I'm there for him
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