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Deciding to go

(102 Posts)
TotheLaunchBay Thu 16-May-19 13:09:22

Hi, I'm trying to decide whether to leave my husband. I feel like this is such an old story on relationships but I really want to talk about it so here goes...

I'm 42, we've been married for 12 years. We have 2 DCs age 3 and 7. DS2 starts school in September which is a worry as he is being assessed for possible ASD and I think that his start at school will be quite rocky.

We have had sex once since DS2 was born. I occasionally try to initiate it but DH is always too tired.

DH is not terrible in lots of ways. He does wash up, empty and load the dishwasher, looks after most of the bills and sometimes vaccums and changes the sheets on our bed without being asked (thinking about those "mental load" cartoons). He is also supporting us financially at the moment. So he isn't a complete waste and sometimes I think that I just have unrealistic expectations.

We both worked in similar jobs- we are both NHS hospital consultants and before children we both worked in acute areas. He hasn't been willing to change his working pattern at all and also will not accept us having a nanny so I do all the school dropoffs and pickups. He also refuses to look after the DCs (particularly DS2) at weekends so I've had to stop doing on call. He did used to look after DS1 but would make a point of how awful it was for him and I would often be setting off for work having just been told things like "I'm in a situation that I can't stand, this is intolerable".
This has had a massive impact on my career- I was clinical lead for my department and training lead for our region in my specialty when I got pregnant. I gave these up when I went on mat leave and have gradually taken less and less prestigious roles to try to get a job that allows me to work while also dropping off at 8 and picking up at 5.30.
I find it really humiliating at work when there is an evening meeting or something in the morning before 9 and I can't get to it because I have no childcare. DH refuses to talk about other childcare options and says that it is impossible for him to have a day when he does drop-off or pick up because it would be "unprofessional".

DH has only taken 2 weeks of annual leave in the school holidays this year. He wouldn't talk to me about this, or even tell me what leave he'd taken for weeks and I ended up emailing his secretary to get a copy of his rota so I could find out when he would be about.

We have a holiday booked in a month's time and he will not talk about it at all- he says that he is in denial about it which I find really hurtful (he finds the idea of spending time with us so awful that he can't think about it).

He has also been agreeing to do things and then backing out- we were going to go skiing with his parents and after we'd talked to them, agreed a week and I'd spent ages looking at the best options he said that he wouldn't be able to stand it so I had to ring them and say that we had decided against it. The same thing happened last summer with him agreeing to us getting guinea pigs and a trampoline- he agreed to it and then after I'd told the DCs and we'd measured up and looked at the best guinea pig houses he decided that the garden had "too much crap" in it already and that we couldn't do it.

I am sure that people will be reading this and thinking that I'm being really wet- just buy the damn trampoline FFS but he gets so withdrawn that it just isn't worth the effort.

I am kind of a SAHM at the moment. My dad had a very serious accident about 2 years ago and spent 18 months in hospital. I couldn't manage doing all the school runs and seeing my dad (DH never once looked after the DCs so I could visit) and work, so I am on unpaid carer's leave and I'm due to go back to work in September. I feel like this has made the power imbalance between us much worse.

DH will not socialise with my family and tries not to see his parents (I've been to visit them with the boys but he doesn't come). I regularly take the boys away for the weekend. When he comes we often have what I think is a really good time, but he has told me that he's faking it and he hates it.

He also says that I'm very controlling but I feel like he is. He told me recently that I get everything that I want and I just didn't know what to say.

I feel like all he ever wants me to do is to take the children out do that he can have the house to himself. He says that he feels like a spare part when they are here and that he feels driven out of the house and that he can't concentrate on anything.

The thing is, he is supporting us. He will read to the DC and I'm hoping that as DS2 gets older he will be more confident with him.

I hope that I can get back to work and he will respect me a bit more and be nicer to me, but I also feel like it's very hard for me to work properly when I have to arrive late and leave early and can't do on call.

At the top of my long post I said that he would change the sheets without being asked. Just typing that made me feel a bit nervous at the idea of asking him- he'd do it himself but would hate me asking him.

He tells me that I'm controlling and that he tries not to give an opinion in case it's wrong but then sulks and mutters to himself so I spend all my time trying to guess what he wants. If I challenge him on it he stands with his hands behind his back and says that he's trying not to provoke me, but he refuses to talk to me.

I don't want a divorce, I want to have a husband who wants to spend time with us and who I can talk to without walking on eggshells trying not to say the wrong thing.

I just don't know what to do.

Thank you

Moffa Sun 19-May-19 06:34:34

@tothelaunchbay do not feel guilty about potentially having help from your family - take it!

Since the kids & I moved out we’ve been living with my parents. I couldn’t afford to rent and it was my only option. I know I’m so lucky they were ready & willing to help. I’m hoping once I get divorced I will be able to thank them properly.

Like you I had thought about leaving for years - I marked days in my diary where he didn’t even see the children. Turned out it was most days.....

By the way, it might be worth seeking some therapy with an ASD trained therapist. I had a referral from my GP and have seen a wonderful therapist who has really helped give me coping strategies and rebuild my self esteem etc. Plus it’s been great to have a totally safe place to talk about things that have happened.

If you do leave, be prepared for you and the DC to suddenly become a special interest to your H. He will not like the change in routine or that you are not in your box. My therapist has pointed out all these things before they have happened and it’s been helpful to know what might come next!

Anyway - talk to your mum if you can. Get help! X

Sally2791 Sun 19-May-19 07:27:25

My ex was and still is very controlling, but has perfected the art of turning it round onto me, sounds like your H is similar. Honestly it's all about their selfishness, he is only interested in preserving his own world whatever the cost to you and your DCs.
You mentioned that you previously had low self esteem and thought no one would marry you. He has exploited that.
Please stop thinking about him,how he will feel or react and think about yourself and creating a happy relaxed atmosphere for your children. He sounds as though he has some major issues, you've tried to help,he hasn't engaged so leave him to it. You can't fix him.
Divorce can be difficult and stressful but surely not as bad as living as you are. He is exploiting you to live as he wants. Stop enabling him and start living a new happy life.

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