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To ask why you got divorced if it wasn’t something major like abuse/cheating etc?

(83 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

FizzyCherry Tue 23-Jan-18 05:34:51

In an unusual situation. Not particularly happy in marriage, but wondering if ending it is going to help.
The unusual bit is a friend from work has just filed for divorce from her husband and has told me the reasons why. They sound pretty similar to the reasons I’m considering the same, but also trivial (obviously they’re not trivial to her).
But by the same token, my aunt and uncle got divorced over lots of niggly, trivial things 25 years ago. She’s regretted it ever since, never remarried, he’s since remarried then been widowed, long story short, they’re now back together and engaged but also sad they “wasted” half their adult lives together because of little things.
So, I’m wondering whether I need a clean break or to accept my lot isn’t so bad.

I fully understand that many people get divorced over irreconcilable things like affairs, abuse etc, I have none of that, but does that mean I shouldn’t do it?

For context, we’ve been together 20years, married 15, both early 40s, 2 DC, one primary age, one preschool. He works full time shifts, I work part time, toddler is at home when I am, nursery when I’m at work.

In a nutshell, my main issues are:
He’s properly lazy when not at work -but works shifts so permanently tired. Does nothing round the house at all, even on days off, unless it gets to the stage where I am screaming at him to at least take his coffee cup out to the dishwasher. He has days off in the week which coincide with kids being at school etc, but does literally nothing with it except watch telly.
I wouldn’t mind so much if I was competing with a hobby, say, but he does nothing. DIY, cleaning, general day to day adulting is all down to me.
Last week we went to an out of town shopping centre. He wanted to drive from one shop to the one at the other end to “save walking”. He’s that lazy. Told him to fuck off, he then complained about the distance like a toddler. Incidentally, my toddler didn’t complain at all. We were only visiting those two shops, it wasn’t a random wander round all the shops kind of trip. It was 3 minutes, tops.

He doesn’t really do much with the kids, again it’s under protest if he does.
If he has a rare day with them, say they have an inset day or something, they all sit on screens or they play while he “potters about” doing nothing significant.
I take them to after school clubs, swimming, birthday parties, appointments etc, it works with my hours, but I know if he has to do it it’s like asking him to climb a mountain so not worth the effort.
He’s never once taken them both out together, or even separately, unless to his mum’s, where they watch telly while he does jobs for her like cuts her grass or changes lightbulbs. He mostly goes there on his own because the kids get bored. But he takes them nowhere “fun”.
His mum lives five minutes from a farm place we have membership to, if I go to her, we generally pop in on the way there or back to feed the animals or go in the playground. He drives straight past every time.
He makes such a fuss about putting them to bed “because he’s been at work all day” that the preschooler now kicks off if he says he will do it “to help me out” so I do it for peace and quiet.
He can be persuaded to read the odd bedtime story but makes it his mission to be done as quick as possible. He once spread the Gruffalo over two nights FFS.

He’s unhealthy, smokes (not in the house but in front of the kids), refuses to give up because it’s “his choice”, he eats shit all day, wouldn’t know exercise if it smashed him in the face, is massively overweight and snores like his life depends on it. His dad died quite young with a similar lifestyle (although he was much fitter and ate much better), but he doesn’t see why that’s relevant.
His snoring keeps me awake, which is why I’m writing this at a ungodly hour. The only time I get a full night’s sleep is when he’s on nights.
He refuses to see the doctor because “he nags him about losing weight” and doesn’t just wave a magic wand to make everything bad go away.

He’s selfish in that, for example, last week, I had a really heavy cold and asked if we had any cold and flu stuff.
He said no, he had taken it to work, just in case. I asked would he mind going to get me some more at some point, walking to the shop at the end of our road, he said no, it was raining. If I wanted to I could go and he would “watch the kids”. He went eventually but only after I pointed out he was being an utter wanker.
In a restaurant recently, they asked if everything was OK, he said “fine”.it was me who had to say “DDs dinner hasn’t arrived.” He said “Well, I was fine, why would I say otherwise?”

But the thing that’s made me think seriously about it all is the fact that our sex life is non existent, he’s no longer attractive and I can’t be arsed frankly. For Christmas, he “bought” me a promise to take me to a spa. But it’s some naturist spa place that he mentioned months ago and I said didn’t appeal to me. I told him not to bother, I won’t be going.
He hasn’t booked it, he didn’t even do that thing where you make up a voucher online, he just casually mentioned it on Christmas morning.

See, written down, he sounds like an utter arse, but it doesn’t seem reasonable to put the kids through a divorce plus the financial insecurity etc it will bring just because he’s really irritating.
We have repeatedly discussed all these faults, BTW, he might take them on board for a day or two but nothing really changes.

Really not sure whether to go ahead, or risk it not being the answer to all my problems, and then I can add feeling guilty to all my other issues.

WWYD?

annandale Tue 23-Jan-18 05:48:20

I divorced a long time ago because my xh and I wanted different things - no kids at that time though.

It sounds as if you are barely tolerating each other. I'm a 'stay together if possible' type but this does sound miserable. Working nights is clearly ruining his life though he is managing that really badly. I can't help feeling that you are looking down the barrel of caring for an obese disabled man after a stroke. Tbh it sounds as if the situation is bringing out the worst in you as well.

Could you have a long visit to parents or similar? They will be irritating too but at least you could have some sleep!

FizzyCherry Tue 23-Jan-18 05:53:52

Funnily enough, we did that. I moved out for six weeks, with the kids end of last year.
Kids were miserable because they missed their toys, bedrooms, Sky TV (!)
Got back, now everything is annoying again.

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 05:55:19

He doesn't sound like a good person to remain married to at all.

What did you love about him when you first got engaged?

Minestheoneinthegreen Tue 23-Jan-18 05:56:16

Well I'm not your target audience because on top of lots of the things you lsted, mine also has an affair, amongst other things.
However, if you were my mate, I'd be telling you you shouldn't have to live like that and he sounds grim. If you've discussed it and he doesn't change, you can either stay and martyr yourself for the rest of your life or get out now. You don't have to have something huge to make a break, although I know from experience it's easier to minimise shit behaviour than to do something about it. You can't change him, he doesn't want to change himself. So read back your OK and consider if it is worth still being there in 10 years time.

JingsMahBucket Tue 23-Jan-18 05:58:23

Ugh. This sounds horrible FizzyCherry and to me it is grounds for divorce. He’s a stone around your neck and you’d probably be much better off without him. Financially, if you could squeeze automated payments out of him, you’d be fine. If he had to remember to pay on his ow you’d probably never see the money since he’s a lazy ass.

He’s also probably depressed but that isn’t your problem to fix. You’ve tried long enough and he needs to grow up.

JingsMahBucket Tue 23-Jan-18 06:00:13

Also, I would have this moved to the Relationships board before the AIBU vipers wake up.

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Tue 23-Jan-18 06:03:33

@JingsMahBucket
Yep definitely, get it moved to Relationships. It's sweet to think of them, still asleep in their nighties and curlers with a big day of coffee dates ahead of them!

FizzyCherry Tue 23-Jan-18 06:04:00

How do I move it, JingsMah. Know what you mean about vipers, I think I post here through habit....

Stella60 Tue 23-Jan-18 06:07:41

It sounds awful. The children will grow up thinking that is what to expect from relationships. Escape!

CheeseGirl4 Tue 23-Jan-18 06:08:16

These don't sound like niggly, trivial things; you've lost respect for him and he isn't engaged in yours and the children's life. My first thought was to discuss the issues with him, my second was to have a bit of a break away from him to see if it was a case of familiarity breeding contempt, but you've tried both of those.

Divorce doesn't need to be traumatic for the children, in all honesty the thought of staying that situation for another 15+ years and then divorcing makes me want to cry, and it's not me contemplating doing that.

jack2001 Tue 23-Jan-18 06:10:43

None of that stuff is trivial op. You're a saint for living with him for so long. It sounds miserable.
The kids will be ok. It's better for them to have a happy Mum that's divorced than one who has to scream at her husband for basic things. Plus they'll learn your dh's bad habits.

KimmySchmidt1 Tue 23-Jan-18 06:11:12

He sounds depressed. Can you try a different tack of helping him out of this rut rather than nagging? I don’t bother nagging my DH (although we have a cleaner and are both pretty tidy) I just stop doing things for him so he can choose between changing and the consequences of not changing. Men are quite transactional like that. Have you tried explaining to him what he is missing re kids and making him feel left out of lots of fun? That reverse psychology often works well too.

Do you think he hates himself and his life? It sounds like it. A course of anti-depressants might help.

PLFDiDi Tue 23-Jan-18 06:13:08

I agree, he sounds depressed he needs to address this. Shifts will not be helping, the weird hours fuck you right up, the extra cash isn't sounding worth it, he also should address this. But will he? If not its time to make a break.

Poshindevon Tue 23-Jan-18 06:16:11

I dont think the things you describe are "niggly" . Your husband is lazy and selfish
You husband is dragging you down, and I think you need to seperate. You do not have to divorce straight away, seperation and maybe couples counselling may help. If your husband does not see this as a wake up call than you can divorce at a later time. No need to rush into a divorce, you and your husband can come to an agreement over seeing the children and maintenace while your seperated.
By the way, why should you move out of the house ask him to go, he could stay with his mother.
All the best whatever you decide.

JingsMahBucket Tue 23-Jan-18 06:25:12

@FizzyCherry I think you can report your own thread and then in the box request MNHQ to move it to your chosen board.

Also, back to your OP/purpose. I wouldn’t bother trying to help him get treated for depression. You’ve given him tons of chances already and getting him diagnosed would just turn into another insurmountable yet soul crushing project for you. He’s not going to change and you know that. Cut your losses now. I personally would spend the rest of week doing the following:

- listing out your grievances in more detail so you can give them to or have a script when speaking to case workers and solicitors

- contacting Women’s Aid and getting inexpensive solicitor referrals

- listing assets

- gathering financial documents

- figuring out ways to mentally disassociate yourself from him. Stop mentally relying on him to do things for the family, create workarounds, etc.

- being kind to yourself and giving yourself a pep talk.

You can do this. smile You deserve a better life. flowers

isthismylifenow Tue 23-Jan-18 06:30:32

Fizzy, like Mines, I also had to deal with affair in the equation, but to be honest, it wasn't the affair that was the bee all and end all of my marriage. Yes, he had an affair years before yet I continued in the marriage for another 6 years after. I know he was having other affairs at the end, but of course never admitted them. But it was all the other stuff that was worse for me. I just couldn't see myself living that like for another week, let alone the rest of my life. Yes, we also had the 'talks', he changed his ways for probably a maximum of a week, and boom, everything back to usual again. I was run ragged, I looked 10 years older than my age, I never slept a full nights sleep for at least 10 years due to the snoring, so I do understand you on that issue. But the fact of the matter was, he liked his life that way, and no matter what, that is the way he wanted to live and bugger everyone else. All that mattered, is what was good for him. He did nothing to help around the house, with the dc, basically he was on a good wicket, so why would he change that if I was willing to do everything.

The fact that nothing has changed after your 6 week separation says a whole lot. If he really cared for the relationship and you and the dc, then 6 weeks alone, is a very long time for him to consider things. How did he manage alone for those 6 weeks without you doing everything? He did, because he had to. But now that you are back, he doesn't have to anymore.

Fizzy, life is short. Why live it unhappily. I stayed in my marriage for the sake of my dc, what would the divorce do to them, how would we cope financially etc etc. But, I can tell you first hand, that it didn't help my dc any..... the constant living under tension, living in a pressure cooker when you parents are not happy, is not a good situation for them to thrive in. We all say, oh we stayed for the kids.... I can tell you now that my dc are much happier now, they are free to say what they want, when they want, they don't have to walk on eggshells all the time.... and there is no fighting. There has not been one argument or fight in our house since the day stbx left. And that is between myself and two teenagers, we don't argue, we discuss things now. They don't argue, they discuss things. At the end of the day, it creates a totally different scenario to just speak to one another in a civil way. Not little jabs here and there, snide little comments, comments that guilt you into doing things (small little things, but things like he would go to the bathroom and turn on the light.... then he would come back and say.. 'that light switch is dirty, it needs cleaning'.. ) little things like this that are just constant and wear you down.

Sorry this did turn out long. But do understand. I bet in one way you wished he had had an affair, as it could just be the excuse you need. That is how I felt. So I know he had yet another affair towards the end, but I didn't care. For me it was just the cherry on the top to end it. In fact the final straw wasn't even that, its was the most ridiculous thing (he came home late) but it was just the final nail in the coffin after years and years of being a doormat.

All the best OP.

jaimelannistersgoldenhand Tue 23-Jan-18 06:45:25

I don't think that your reasons are minor at all. A partner who's not involved (ideally enjoying) in family life is massive. Being a crap husband is also a good enough reason to split.

running3 Tue 23-Jan-18 07:08:02

I think you've got plenty of reasons there! A marriage is meant to be a partnership, as is parenting. X

kalinkafoxtrot45 Tue 23-Jan-18 07:11:21

I don’t think you would be unreasonable to divorce a lazy, selfish manchild.

Coastalcommand Tue 23-Jan-18 07:12:06

Could you try couples’ counselling?
In the meantime, stop doing anything for him. Don’t wash his clothes or cook his meals. Other things are harder to delineate but where you can, go on strike.

tomatosalt Tue 23-Jan-18 07:16:51

The weight gain and lack of self care sounds repulsive in and of itself OP. As a PP said, you’ll be caring for him prematurely if he carries on this way.
It doesn’t sound like he’s contributing anything positive to your DC’s lives and you’d all be better off apart. Maybe you could suggest a trial separation and pack him off to his mums house for a couple of weeks? Unless he can commit seriously to saving the relationship with counselling, lifestyle changes etc I’d leave. He’s only going to promote bad habits to your poor kids.
Have you discussed divorce with him seriously before? What are his thoughts?

TossDaily Tue 23-Jan-18 07:18:24

He sounds like a total horror.

It's very telling that you say when you moved out your kids missed Sky TV - but you don't say they missed their dad.

Your kids will be fine. Mine were. Just leave and get yourself a happy life. I honestly don't see what there would be to regret.

Ilovecamping Tue 23-Jan-18 07:20:29

Your home life is making you miserable and does have a knock on effect with your children.
I kept trying to tell my exh things weren't right in our marriage but he wouldn't listen, even suggested we talk to someone, he couldn't see a problem. In the end I told him I wanted to end it, then the penny dropped with him, but it was too late. He was a workaholic and had stopped talking to me as a partner, I was a sahm and did everything at home to try to lighten his load as he worked so hard. I used to keep the kids away from him when he first got home otherwise he snapped at them.
Once I had made the decision a weight was lifted from me.
Approx 3 months after the separation my exh admitted he had let the job take over, we stayed amicable and divorced ourselves 2 years later with no solicitors involved.
You both have to want the marriage to work.

Zampa Tue 23-Jan-18 07:20:47

Is the shift work contributing to the issues? There are huge health issues associated with rotating/night shifts such as obesity, depression, cancer risks etc.

sleepfoundation.org/shift-work/content/living-coping-shift-work-disorder

Would your DH consider changing jobs? Do you think that would help?

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