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How to make it tolerable until the inevitable separation

(75 Posts)
RexDangerVest Tue 05-Nov-19 19:13:57

We've been together for 8 or 9 years. Committed to 2 children and a house together. Not married. It's been a long time since things have been really good. We've had phases of lots of arguing/being quite nasty to one another/threatening to leave. Now we mostly just get on with it and don't have too much to do with each other. We don't have sex (or any physical contact actually), we speak about the kids and practical things but don't show any interest in each other - to be honest I just gave up because he just looks irritated when I try and chat! We don't go out together, rarely even eat together. I know we'll split at some point but I won't leave him now - it would be a disaster I know and way worse than current situation. I'm fine really, I've basically emotionally detached and I know I'll be fine on my own when it happens. I'm not interested in finding love or romance. I'd like a dog instead. So I suppose I'm just thinking what now? Do I try and make an effort even though deep down I know we're doomed? I do still like him a bit and don't mind spending time with him but he's so shitty towards me I don't really feel like he deserves my efforts! But then we can't really go on ignoring each other for the next however many years

NellNorth Tue 05-Nov-19 20:11:35

Do the 2 children get say? I can’t imagine they are having much fun in a doomed, shitty atmosphere where you both ignore each other. Sounds awful.

category12 Tue 05-Nov-19 20:15:38

How does the "being shitty" towards you manifest itself?

Really, is this what you want to teach your dc about relationships? I mean, it's all very well staying for practical reasons, but is that the lesson you want your dc to learn?

RexDangerVest Tue 05-Nov-19 20:18:46

Well we keep it together in front of the kids but certainly aren't loving towards each other which does make me sad for them - that they think that's normal.

RexDangerVest Tue 05-Nov-19 20:21:13

Being shitty - just generally seems a bit irritated by me, can't be bothered speaking to me. It feels like such a chore striking up a conversation because he makes it obvious he's got better things to do.

RexDangerVest Tue 05-Nov-19 20:21:48

We're mostly ok with the kids though, I suppose because all the focus it on them.

Startingoveragain1 Tue 05-Nov-19 20:24:36

Have you had any conversations about where you're at in the relationship? Or about yours and his expectations? Do u know where u stand? What does he think? why wouldn't u leave now if you know you are done? You say youre fine as youre emotionally detached, what about ur partner and ur kid?if things are amicable enough amd ure on the same page...its fair enough but are you all on the same page?

Startingoveragain1 Tue 05-Nov-19 20:27:11

Just read ur last posts, Seems pretty doomed op... as long as youre gettin through the days together ure not out there trying to find ur own actual hapiness. Have a talk with him, see if anything is salvageable, (if u want to) and go from there

RexDangerVest Tue 05-Nov-19 20:33:04

It's weird because I know if I tried to have that conversation now he'd dismiss it or blame me and say he's perfectly fine 'just busy', but he acts like he dislikes me and I don't understand why he doesn't leave or suggest separating. It doesn't seem to occur to him even though I'm sure he's unhappy.

RexDangerVest Tue 05-Nov-19 20:34:52

He basically works all the time and avoids contact with anyone apart from colleagues. He's nice to the kids though.

SurvivingLife Tue 05-Nov-19 20:34:55

Following because pretty much in the same boat!! I know I'm 100% done and want to leave but 2 things are stopping me. I can't financially do anything atm, it would mean me and 3 kids moving back to my parents house and also because of the disruption it is going to cause in the kids lives. Not many helpful tips but you're not alone flowers

RexDangerVest Tue 05-Nov-19 20:37:39

Thanks @SurvivingLife that's good to hear and I'm sorry you're in this situation too. I knew people would say just leave but real life isn't like that and I have to be practical. The kids are everything to me so I am trying to do the best thing for them.

Zoflorabore Tue 05-Nov-19 20:44:45

Another one sadly in the same boat and been no sex or kissing for over 2 years. I am done. I’ve met an amazing man who I really like and who feels the same and tonight I’ve had the hardest conversation with the one I live with. I didn’t want to cheat so felt it was best to be honest how unhappy I am. Not a nice atmosphere here. Sorry you’re in this situation op. I get it.

RexDangerVest Tue 05-Nov-19 21:23:49

Maybe one day I'll go to dogs trust, find the one for me and have that convo too

Bearski77 Wed 06-Nov-19 15:05:00

This is pretty much exactly my story. I've been over and over it in my head, the thing holding me back also being the effect on my kids. However, the way we are is NO example to our kids of how to have a relationship as we go round the house avoiding each other. It's miserable, but at the same time I really don't think he sees it as a problem. You're definitely not alone x
(Zoflorabore - exact same, but nine years!! x)

category12 Wed 06-Nov-19 15:18:00

he acts like he dislikes me and I don't understand why he doesn't leave or suggest separating. It doesn't seem to occur to him even though I'm sure he's unhappy.

He probably doesn't want to be the "bad guy" and very likely prefers sharing a home with his dc to an imagined future where he might be the NRP. All bets are off of course if he finds an OW in the meantime. Or possibly already has and isn't working as much as you think.

KristinaM Wed 06-Nov-19 16:42:24

he acts like he dislikes me and I don't understand why he doesn't leave or suggest separating. It doesn't seem to occur to him even though I'm sure he's unhappy

Let me take a wild guess. You do 90% of the childcare, housework and wifework. You have gone part time or taken a step back ion your career to take maternity leave and then care for the children, while his career is going well. He loves his work, it’s the most important thing in his life.

If he leaves, he has to do all the housework and wife work and at least some of the childcare on his own AND pay you child why the hell would be do that? Right now he has a free nanny and housekeeper that he doesnt even have to be civil to .

dottydolly72 Wed 06-Nov-19 17:28:02

10 yrs 2 kids, I play the lottery actually praying I can win my way out of this.. sad to see there's so many in a similar situation. 💐

OldGrinch Wed 06-Nov-19 17:36:01

I'm in the same boat as well OP. Decided will leave once my DC both at University. 6 years and counting x

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 06-Nov-19 17:36:12

Well we keep it together in front of the kids but certainly aren't loving towards each other which does make me sad for them - that they think that's normal.

Do not do your bit here to continue to teach your kids that a loveless relationship is their norm too. This is no legacy to leave them and perhaps the two of you are staying together currently because its somehow "easier"; its certainly being done by both of you for your own reasons. He is certainly sending his children mixed messages by being "nice" to them whilst completely ignoring you as their mother; they are being harmed by this dynamic of his too.

afternoonspray Wed 06-Nov-19 17:36:24

Why not be absolutely direct with him. Get the kids out of the house for a sleepover with friends so you have some privacy and then say: we have two choices: we can decide to make life work as a family unit, in which case you and I need to put some effort into getting on better or we can divorce. But I don;t see carrying on as we are as a viable third option. It's not good for children to grow up thinking coldness and irritability are normal in adult relationships. I want them to have higher aspirations than that and I think we should too. Either we focus on what we appreciate and like abotu each other and build from there or we separate. That's what I think. What do you think?

If he refuses to engage he's answered that he'd prefer to separate than make an effort..

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 06-Nov-19 17:49:51

Better to be separated and parent separately than to be together locked in your own miseries. Whose sake are you really staying for; it could be argued that you are staying for your own sake rather than theirs.

As our children grow older, they tend to replicate relationships similar to what their parents modeled. As parents we’d never say we want our children to suffer or struggle in their relationships. Yet that’s the greater likelihood. It’s not what we say, but what we do that matters. Telling our children they deserve healthy, respectful, and loving partnerships isn’t taken to heart if we don’t have the courage to live up to our own words. What we model for them is very much what we might expect for them in their future relationships. From this perspective we might question the sincerity of the expression “for the sake of the children.”

Living in mediocrity or worse burdens children with very confusing messages about relationships and happiness. It certainly instructs them that loving marriages and partnerships are not their birthright.

There are many examples on here and from other sources of people staying together for far too long for their own reasons, mainly the children. Some say they will wait until the children go to university before leaving; this course of action is a huge mistake. Waiting for the children to go off to college/uni/leave home and then divorcing may make the kids feel guilty that their parents sacrificed their own happiness for them. We owe our children much more than the physicality of an intact family. We owe them our truth. Its a testing time for young adults as it is when they first leave home and they seeing their parents separate at this time further pulls the rug out from underneath them.

I would urge you to make the break sooner rather than later. Staying in a mediocre relationship also teaches them that your relationship with their dad was based on a lie and its a terribly heavy burden to place upon them.

Having two parents successfully move forward with their lives teaches an invaluable lesson: that we deserve to be happy and to feel loved. Conversely, remaining in relationships that perpetuate anger, devaluation, and lack of positive interactions leaves an indelible scar on children.

ExcitedForFuture Wed 06-Nov-19 17:55:32

I was in this position. 10 years of no sex. Hardly any physical contact etc (I wasn't interested). H slept on the sofa the whole of the DCs lives.

I also had the awful realisation that the kids would likely model their future relationships based on what they saw as normal.

I ended it in the end. I just got more bitter, resentful and unhappy. The atmosphere at home wasn't pleasant. Everyone was grumpy and snappy.

Best thing I ever did. I'm much happier and at peace. The atmosphere at home is mainly calm and happy. I've met someone else and it made me sad when DC asked me if he would stay on the sofa when he stayed over, because to them they hadn't seen any different at home in their whole lives. That to me summed up exactly why I did the right thing. Now they see me and DP cuddle, hold hands, kiss (briefly obviously) and they see general affection between us. It's exactly the sort of relationship I want to model to them now.

richtea12 Wed 06-Nov-19 18:15:26

I'm in a similar situation and although the atmosphere is ok we do bicker/argue a lot. I want to leave when I can secure a ft job and afford to rent but it's such a huge step and I think we have to be careful about adding to the OPs stress by saying she should go now if she can't. It is possible to be good parents but not be madly in love with your partner and tactile all the time. One of my big concerns about splitting is not having my DC all the time, I can't imagine walking away from him and my DP wont move out so if anything is going to change it will have to me taking the initiative. I would also have to rent and probably have no chance of gets mortgage again so there are so many things to consider, it's not just a case of walking out.

GetOffTheTableMabel Wed 06-Nov-19 18:23:45

You sound pretty mentally healthy to me OP. You’ve accepted that this is not forever. It won’t be your life, it’s just a temporary state of affairs while you wait for a solution. Please, please use this time to think about career options and anything you can do to further them. Your solution almost certainly lies in the workplace.

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