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Are we being selfish

(23 Posts)
Nitrobo Sat 26-May-18 08:26:25

3 years ago my dh and I seperated. 2 years later we decided to try and reconcile. It has been up and down but we are getting along well.
However we have fallen into a routine where by we dont spend every night together usually 3-5 out of 7.

However we have kids who have voiced a concern that they would like us to just be a normal family living in one house.

Ive raised the issue and he said he isnt ready to move back in, that he is comfortable having his own place and wants our relationship to be where it was 12 years ago, before kids mortgage and work came along for him to consider moving back.
Despite me being comfortable with my own space too ( not having to pick up after him, cook, consult him on decisions about house, go along to social engagements with him if I dont want, spend an evening stuck in a book etc) I feel pretty angry that he isnt ready to recommit and suspect he never will. We arent kids anymore we have responibilities and Im now worried we are damaging the kids by this half marriage we appear to have and I think its unreasonable to expect us to eventually be who we where years ago.
How long would you let a situation like this go on for?

Quartz2208 Sat 26-May-18 08:28:28

No long at all - he cant do back to how it was your have responsibilites and its clearly upsetting them

He cant have both you need to decide you are together or are you going to co parent separately

Bluntness100 Sat 26-May-18 08:32:20

You can't push him into the type of relationship you want, if he doesn't want it. It won't work and will spell the end. It's better for your kids to have two happy parents than two waring ones who split a second time.

The question is not how long do you let it go on. If this isn't what you wish, then end it.

He's saying your relationship coesnt work when you live together full time as a family. He is clearly right, it didn't.

Relationships have to go at a natural pace for both parties. You want more. He doesn't. Not yet. Either you accept that or end it.

Don't use your children as an excuse to force him. Honestly it won't work.

robotcartrainhat Sat 26-May-18 08:34:52

Id try and weigh up what you really feel... from what youve written it sounds like actually living apart was having a good effect on your relationship? But you are worried and hurt by what living apart implies about his commitment.
I guess you have to weigh up those two things and if one eclipses the other.
I dont personally think parents living apart but being together romantically does harm children if the relationship is good and stable.
Id factor out the 'living together' issue and look at the relationship itself.

Nitrobo Sat 26-May-18 08:39:57

bluntness I didnt say I was trying to push him into a relationship I want.

I said im somwhat comfortable with how things are but the kids arent and that what he is waiting for is unrealiatic.

Im not using them to manipulate him.

I Am genuinely wondering if such a set up is bad for them.
Actually wondering if its bad for all of us as it isnt the norm.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 26-May-18 08:40:50

Are you doing things together as a couple and a family? Or is he just shagging you 3 nights a week and then going off to live his single life?
Does he have the children at all or are you doing everything?

It sounds like you've got the shitty end of the stick here and he won't change because he's shirked most of the family responsibilities. In other words, he's picking the best bits of having a family and leaving the rest.

I think a year is enough time to decide if he wants to commit and start acting like a grown up. Sorry.

disappearingninepatch Sat 26-May-18 08:43:45

Do your children spend any time at his?

If not, I think he's got the perfect set-up. I'd like my own place where I could go and opt out of parenting my children for a few days a week and then have all the benefits of a family life/relationship 3-5 days a week.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 26-May-18 08:46:51

What is the reason you separated? I don't see why he gets to call all the shots and dictate how your relationship works now? It appears to be all about his feelings and wants.

He's keeping you dangling on a string by telling you he's "not ready" yet to commit. I suspect he'd be happy for this set up to carry on indefinitely.
However, you need to consider what you want and what's best for everyone. Don't settle for him throwing you the odd crumbs. sad

Nitrobo Sat 26-May-18 08:49:33

We do do things as a family as well as dates and breaks away together as a family or just the two of us.
Tecnically we alternate childcare as we did when seperated except we are both usually around unless weve made plans.
it just means if I want to go out with friends go clothes shopping gym etc I do it on a day or evening that he would have had the kids under our previous agreement and visa versa. Although mostly his weekend plans that mean he may not be around are about work.

NameChangedForThisQ Sat 26-May-18 08:52:40

Yabu to let your children tell you how to conduct your relationship. Take that factor out first. They can wish whatever they like - doesn't mean it's feasible.

Are YOU happy with the current arrangement, and working to get it back where it was? If so, fine. If not, work out what you want and communicate it with your DH.

Explain to the kids that adult relationships are complicated and you and DH are doing what you've both judged to be best.

category12 Sat 26-May-18 08:53:20

I agree with pp, if when he's spending time with you it's mostly sex and him being a guest, rather than mucking in, then he's cherry picking and that's great for him, but leaves you with the shitty end.

It's whether you prefer having him as a date than not having him at all. (If he has abdicated all responsibility for the dc and home, then I think, personally, I'd come to despise him.)

Nitrobo Sat 26-May-18 08:53:46

Ironically he is a more hands on parent since we split than he ever was when we lived together. When we where together the idea of him having the kids for an entire weekend was completely beyond him. Even a few hours would result in 12 phone calls every minute asking what to do. I dont get that now.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 26-May-18 08:54:12

Perhaps decide then if this is what you want? I'm confused whether you're your happy with the arrangement or angry that he wont commit and wanting more?
You seem to think this will naturally progress to living together. I don't think he does.

Thingsdogetbetter Sat 26-May-18 08:55:19

So do you have sole responsibility for the kids on the nights you aren't together? If so he's basically saying he's unprepared to be a husband and father fulltime. But is more than happy to lumber all the family responsibility on you while he has time to himself when ever he wants. He can't get back the life you had before kids, mortgage and work. It's called growing up. He chose all those things and can't just decide that isn't what he wants now but is fine to 'dump' it all on you and let you do it. In that case I'd dump. He can't pick and choose which days he wants family life and which days he doesn't.

If I have that wrong and you are sharing child care outside of family days, and it's working for you too, you need to sit the kids down and explain there is no normal as such, why it is working now and how it benefits the family long term.
Fear it's the former though and I think a year is more than long enough for him to have reintegrate into the family unit. He's picking and choosing. What say do you have? Personally I'd say feck off.

Thingsdogetbetter Sat 26-May-18 08:58:52

X post.

I now see he is engaged with the kids on none whole family days. So sitting the kids down and having a family discussion is in order. Maybe if the felt more included in the decision they might feel better about the set up.

Nitrobo Sat 26-May-18 09:00:54

@ILost it
Tbh I dont know. Weve just been plodfing along I hadnt thought about it in detail untill dc said he wanted his family to be like everyone elses. And As stupid as it sounds I guess im angry that dh hasnt thought about it either and that hes yearning for a time that I dont think can come back.

Itsalottery Sat 26-May-18 11:12:55

Do you know why your dc don't like the set up? Is it because they want more family time or are embarrassed about the set up when talking to friends or just find it confusing? My parents had a similar set up to yours and I think it has caused me quite a lot of adult problems, that is not to say that yours will so I'm not saying you shouldn't continue if it works but I think perhaps explore further what your dc think. It is unlikely that your dh is going to come back full time in my opinion so i guess it depends whether this set up is enough for you and the dc. Is this a preferable option for you all than the completely separated option which is less confusing but without any of the pros of the current set up.

Nitrobo Sun 27-May-18 06:42:14

Itsalottery not really dc are 6 and 8 its only just come up now as my eldest said they wanted to be a single parent when they grow up and youngest said thats not s family and wished we where normal one like everyone elses got upset and started crying a lot then older one got into a tantrum.
I didnt probe too much as I genuinely dont know how to approach it or what response to give. Equally I dont know what it is I want. I guess I figured eventually things would go back to a normal set up but I was in no great rush.

Itsalottery can I ask how this affected you in your adult life?

AgentJohnson Sun 27-May-18 07:35:10

Firstly, you need to talk to your children. Families come in all shapes and sizes and I’m guessing your younger one is voicing concern because the set up now is a halfway house, you’re not completely back together but you haven’t split up either and that uncertainty must be very distressing. Children can handle change it’s uncertainty that they don’t like, so you need to convince them that the current situation isn’t a closer step to divorce than if their father was living with them full time. However, that would be a hard sell because your youngest is right, his father isn’t as committed as he could be and given his ‘not being ready’ talk, it doesn’t sound like he’s ever going to be.

It sounds like you and your H are on two different pages, you see the set up as temporary and he sees it as more permanent solution. The issues in your marriage can’t of simply disappeared when he went ‘part time’ and I’m guessing that the novelty of not having to pick up after him is being replaced by resentment that he gets to be a part time parent/ husband, while you don’t.

The relationship sort of works because a lot of the underlying issues have been temporarily addressed by him being part time and although things are better than they were, your H is still calling the shots and as per your relationship norm, you’re just expected to go along with it.

Resentment festers if not dealt with and therefore you do need to have a serious talk with your H before the corrosion sets in. What are your expectations and what are the chances of them ever being met with your H? Can you accept that the continuation of the current set up is the price of staying with your H? If you can’t, then your H needs to know that.

Lemonyknickers Sun 27-May-18 09:00:38

At 6 and 8 your kids won't understand the full complexity of a relationship. What they see is mum and dad getting on, and a more hands on dad so of course they think it'll be fine if he moves back and everything is hunky dory. I think this is one of those decisions where adults know best. If it's working for you both now, leave itonly alter it if it stops. A happy parenting bond is better for the kids than wedging yourself into social norms. Speaking as a child of a thoughly unhappy/outwardly perfect marriage.

beingsunny Sun 27-May-18 09:04:57

Stop thinking about what's normal, you guys need to look at what works for you. Leave the kids out of it and decide if you are happy.

The chive is to continue as is or separate which I guess the kids won't like either.

Bridechilla Sun 27-May-18 09:13:46

If you move back in and return back to the same place you were when you split then that'd be more damaging.

I get the your kids want "normality" but have you ever both actually sat down with them and explained the set up, maybe they just don't understand that although it's not conventional it is permanent and stable and they don't need to worry.

You also haven't said what you want either really.

SandyY2K Sun 27-May-18 14:35:29

Explain to the kids you're working on things and don't want him to move back in until you're both sure.

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