Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Is my long-term relationship over? Advice from those who have been there needed.(14 Posts)
I'll apologise now for what I think is going to be a long one- I don't really have anyone to talk to about this and it's built up to the point where I feel lost and stuck.
I've been with Mr Daze for about 13 years, since my early 20s. He's just over a decade older than me, had previously been married for a very short time, then divorced and single for years before we met.
The early stages were very sweet, slow-paced and gentle. He was very used to living on his own and doing his own thing, so I was mindful of that. We'd see each other a few times a week, which increased to 4-5 nights a week at his in the second year.
Things kind of stalled at that point for a few years. I had to move home to care for my mum when she got ill, but we still saw each other 4 times a week. We got on well, very similar personalities and interests, made each other laugh. There were a couple of holidays where we spent more than a couple of days at a time together and it went well.
I started to get a little frustrated and hurt that things weren't progressing. My friends were getting engaged and married, my siblings starting families... and it felt like we were going nowhere. Any time I tried to talk about it, he would look physically uncomfortable, make a joke or change the subject.
Then I went away on holiday with my family for two weeks (he was invited, but didn't want to come) and, on my return, he said he'd really missed me and asked me if I wanted to buy a house with him. I was thrilled that we were finally getting somewhere after around 8 years and agreed.
We spent a bit of time doing up his little flat to sell it, but in the middle of that process, he had a breakdown and started to suffer with depression. He told me that he'd had an episode after his divorce for a year and had been on antidepressants, and he felt the same as he had back then. It took about 6 months to get the right medication for him, so house hunting was put on hold. I paid a few mortgage payments for his flat as he'd cut down his work hours and paid for decorating stuff and replaced his old boiler.
It was eventually sold about a year after we'd first talked about it and we bought a house together. He put down a substantial 6-figure deposit on the house from the sale of his flat. We are joint tenants. We have our own bank accounts into which our salaries are paid and then transfer money into a joint account for mortgage, bills and any shared expenditure.
This is when things got really tricky. He's still on antidepressants (four years and counting), refuses any talking therapies and has continued to drink alcohol, though he knows he shouldn't when on the a/ds. He doesn't really have any friends that live locally any more and hasn't been out socially for three years without me.
He stopped going to work in the office and instead does freelance work from home. This means he doesn't need to get up for any particular time, so he started coming to bed later and later. Now he generally comes to bed when I get up (5.30am on work days, around 7-8am when I'm not at work) and sleeps all day, until around 6pm.
He has 'breakfast', walks to the local corner shop to buy wine and fags, comes home and we chat for a bit, then I cook dinner, we eat together then watch a film or do hobbies, sometimes go to the cinema or pub. Then I go to bed at 10/11ish and he stays up playing computer games, reading, watching random videos on youtube and doing a little bit of work. His work has dwindled this year to around 10/15 hours a month and so he hasn't put any money into the joint account since November.
Up until now, he's paid for the wine and fags himself, but I've noticed this month, he's paid using the joint account a few times. It's £30 each day, which shocked me. He normally does the bins and recycling, so I checked this week before they were collected- 15 empty bottles of wine from this week alone.
On top of all of this, our sex life has dwindled to zero. It slowed when he first went on the a/ds, and I could tell he wasn't really into it, so stopped initiating as often. He then started saying no every time, so I tried to spice things up... but it didn't help. Two years ago was the last time I tried to initiate sex and he actually physically pushed me away from him, got dressed and left the house. I haven't tried since, told him that I will wait for him to feel up for it. He hasn't touched me since.
I'm at the end of my tether and yet I feel incredibly selfish. I'm fed up with having to work 7am-7pm 5 days a week and manage ALL of the cooking, food shopping, bill payment and cleaning. He loads the dishwasher in the evening and empties the bins and recycling, and works 3 hours a week. It doesn't matter whether I nag or beg or give him lists of stuff to do, it just doesn't happen. I read another post on here about being able to judge a relationship by what your partner does when you're ill or incapacitated. He does nothing. Doesn't look after me, doesn't pick up on the chores, he just carries on as normal.
I think it's over... but I don't know what to do next. I panic about how he'll survive if I'm not here to pay the bills and keep a roof over his head. Is that enough of a reason to stay? What can I do to help him, or to save our relationship? Is it even worth saving?
If you've been here yourself and have come out the other end, I'd love to know your story. Any advice (even if you just want to slap me and tell me to stop whinging and count myself lucky) would be great.
Thank you for reading my essay!
I'm so sorry you're going through this, you know full well that this is no way to live. You
Are getting absolutely nothing from this relationship.
You need to sell the house and both move into something smaller, take all your money & hard work and start a new life without him.
He is obviously depressed and you are enabling him to slip deeper and deeper, you are not doing him any favours. He needs a shock to get himself out of this funk.
I didn’t want to read and run, but I’ve no experience of mh issues. It sounds like he’s an alcoholic tbf. Personally I would leave, as you sound like his caretaker not his partner. You can be a supportive friend without living through this (self inflicted?) hell. Hopefully someone with knowledge will be along soon op
You are getting nothing from this relationship. You honestly need to walk away. It doesnt sound as if he is making any effort to get his life back on track.
Well the answer to your question "Is my long term relationship over?", is on the face of what you've said, a resounding yes. You are mid-thirties and living like an old married couple who no longer communicate or care about each other. You are in your prime and wasting it on this man who avoids you, leeches off you and no longer desires you. Why on earth do you feel incredibly selfish when you sound the opposite? You deserve so much more lovely. You cannot save him and you cannot stay with him out of pity. We get one life, one precious hour to perform upon this stage, and then we are gone. You deserve so much more than this man, who lets face it has never been particularly keen, is prepared to offer. If you decide to end it, I guarantee in 2 years' time you will look back and wonder why you wasted so much time on this man.
Sorry it has turned out like this. What advice would you give your sister or daughter in this situation?
You deserve to be loved. You are starving and in the desert right now and you can’t live like that forever.
I just wanted to wish you all the best x
Thank you for your replies, SmileSweetly, Lollypop701, MoseShrute and FishingIsNotASport. Finding perspective is quite hard when you're slap-bang in the middle of it and some days, I just think it must all be my fault.
I just read the first few messages on the 'husband gone, feel bereft' thread and can't help but think that I'd be like the husband in that relationship, that other posters are insulting, for not giving her a chance to work at things and just 'throwing the towel in'.
I haven't outright told him that I'm unhappy, though he knows that I hate sleeping alone and spending my weekends without him. But even if he went back to a normal sleeping pattern, stopped drinking and worked more, I'm not sure that would be enough.
I feel selfish because I feel like I've forced him to buy a house with me, to uproot his comfortable little life, and now if I leave, it will leave him high and dry. He won't get a mortgage on his own as he earns too little, and we live in a very expensive small city, so even if he takes all £100k of his deposit, it won't even get him a garage here.
Sorry for your situation.
Think it's a bit unfair what you've just said about the other thread, it's not the same situation at all.
It’s one of those situations where you have to decide if you save yourself, or sacrifice yourself to enable him.
I think you should save yourself
I did, he survived, carried on the same. If I could go back the only thing i’d do differently is to have left sooner.
Smellbellina, would you mind telling me a bit more?
Sausage101, oh god.... I didn't mean it to sound horrible! I just meant that I felt like leaving my partner would make me as bad as the husband on that thread.
My dh suffers from depression and cannot work because of it. But he gets up at a regular time/ goes to gym as its recommended for his mental health/ meets friends/ has dinner ready when l come in/ does lots of gardening and we have a social life. Also HE DOES NOT DRINK.
This man is totally out of order. He is an alcoholic which is probably his main problem and not depression. You have nothing to apologise for. You deserve a life and he is making no effort. You have no dc to worry about. Just leave him and he is not your responsibilty. In actual fact it might do him good as he needs a sharp wake up call.
Financially l don't know how you would be fixed as not married.
Give yourself permission to live. Actually its like self hate not to. Ultimately you are responsible to care for yourself first.
He put down a substantial 6-figure deposit on the house from the sale of his flat.
You guys have a huge asset. He's not going to end up homeless.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.