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Hand hold please, husband not sure he wants to remain married.(108 Posts)
Hi all, I literally can't believe I'm in the position of writing this post but could just use a hand hold if that's OK.
Abridged version is: Known DH 7 years, been married for 3 and have a 2 year old DS. Seven months ago we were about 5 months into TTC #2 (had always discussed together about how we wanted two children since relatively early on in the relationship). DH suddenly told me that he no longer wanted 2 children and was happy with only having our DS- gave lots of reasons. This has been hard for me to adjust to and I've been very upset at the thought of our family not looking as we always thought it would. DH's position over a lot of things has felt chaotic since then- wanting another child, then not, wanting to move house, wanting to stay here, wanting to move 200 miles away to be closer to our families... In all honesty it's been exhausting to try and just keep going for me never knowing what he wanted.
Last night he came to bed and it emerged he doesn't think he wants to stay married. Says that he still loves me and feels utterly shit about the situation but he also wants to be by himself for a while and not have the pressures of marriage or parenting. Consequently I've had no sleep, feeling miserable one minute and then numb the next. Crying constantly. I've come into work (NHS frontline staff) but feel utterly useless.
I know there's not necessarily an 'answer' to the situation but I can't talk it through with friends (all mutual here) or family at this point, so think in my little pity bubble I just selfishly want someone to acknowledge that this is just crap. Thanks for reading.
I'm sorry to hear this.
I think you have to concentrate on what you want since you can't control what he does. Assume the worst and start planning accordingly. It's something to do anyway, Rather than waiting for him to decide whether you are worthy of keeping or not.
You might remind him, though, that you and ds are separate issues. Parents do not get time off the pressures of parenting.
It's utterly crap.
What does he mean by 'doesn't want the pressure of parenting?'
Look up the script. He seems to be following it to the letter. Unfortunately it generally involves another woman. So more bad news is probably on the way.
He can take a break from you, but even if you aren't together, he still has to parent. There is no way out of that one. Sorry OP, it must be tough.
I think you have to accept he does want to be in the marriage. But you don’t have to accept the idea of “for a while”. He needs to decide one way or another. And honestly, the damage is done. He isn’t the partner you need.
The other idea you should challenge is whether he wants to be a parent. He can’t opt out for “a while”. He has responsibilities, financial if nothing else. He needs to be constant as a parent unless he is physically or mentally incapable of being one.
The best but the hardest thing you can do now is to accept his decision to leave. But tell him there’s no back tracking. He needs to leave and then tell you exactly how he wants to parent. As a life long decision. Not for a bit to sort his head out.
I generally never support a parent who moves away, but if moving back to your parents gives you the support you need then do it. He has abdicated his parental responsibilities.
I don’t usually want to give hot headed advice but his behaviour makes me indignant on your behalf.
I love how men get to opt out of parenting.
He isn't sure about the marriage sure, but he doesn't get to dump his child.
If it were me I would tell him he can have his space, that I will move out for a while and give him time. But he gets to parent his child as he will be staying there.
🤔ffs man grow up
Thank you for the replies, will try and answer all points:
I truly don't believe there is another woman for what it's worth. As much as I believe I know him and his values I don't think he'd have the inclination or opportunity (he's literally at work or at home 99% of the time).
Re: parenting. He loves our son, but has found it difficult adjusting to becoming a dad (which took both of us by surprise). He feels it's getting a bit easier as DS gets older but he does struggle to bond with DS and instinctively know what to do in terms of imaginative play, occupying DS in ways that don't involve putting him in front of the TV etc. But he has become a bit better at this in recent weeks. He's made it clear he still wants to be involved with DS financially and practically even if the marriage is over.
My original post probably didn't convey this but he's also really upset and confused by how he's feeling. I've explored whether he thinks he might be depressed but he doesn't think so.
Agree that educating myself about the legal / practical next steps if he does want to end it is wise.
Suggest marriage counselling, if it’s a no go then make the decision to leave him yourself. But get advice via a soliciter for all the practical stuff.Becoming a parent can really change people and not always for the better unfortunately.
I would probably tell him to go and have all the space he needs. Whilst he’s doing that you enjoy your child and go and have a little fun with friends. Make arrangements in your head as to how you move forward but whatever you do try not to hope he will come back and you guys will live happily ever after.
If he does decide it’s you he wants I would then tell him how his behaviour has hurt you hugely and this is a final chance. Any more wobbles and you’re gone. You can’t spend your life hoping someone will eventually realise how good they have it.
I know it all sounds clinical and in reality it’s much harder when you love someone, but be strong!
I would take this time to assess whether he is what you want. He has said and done things that must impact on how you feel about him and your desire to stay in the marriage. However because you are hurt, in shock and will be anxious about the future you probably don’t see this right now.
But even if he gets over his wobbles, you aren’t going to come out of this feeling the same. The advice you are receiving now is good. Take some time to get over the shock. But don’t stay on the back foot lapping up everything he thinks or decides about your life and your child’s life. It’s not on.
Write down what it is you want in a partner, is this it?
Mmm that's all very well but I think Theplantsiitter and others offer v good advice.
In your shoes I would be saying : ok go away and take the space you need but put a time limit on it (six months?) during that time no contact at all except that which relates to Ds (and keep that short and sweet) and tell him to be aware that this is very damaging to your relationship and you will not necessarily be sitting around waiting to see if he decides to come back or not as you have your own life plan; such as wanting more DC, so you refuse to hang around forever while he decides his level of commitment.
Tell him women don't automatically find it easy to bond with their new babies either but they get on with it because they don't view it as a choice!
You sound really lovely and understanding op, but don't be too nice, protect yourself, as it's rather a shitty thing he is contemplating ; walking out on you and your child and, potentially, the future life you thought you would have together)
Smacks of someone else OP.
The dithering, sudden changes of mind etc.
High chance of another woman.
Thanks everyone, I've had some really good advice and it's definitely helped me to feel a tad more in control of the situation.
I can completely understand why a few people have suggested there may be someone else, I truly hope this isn't something I'm later proved wrong about but I still don't think that's the case.
I work within mental health so am trying to be very aware of my own needs and allow myself to feel the emotions of it, rather than leaping straight into pragmatic work head. I did reach out to a therapist a few weeks ago regarding the second child situation so might book an appointment to go and see them on the near future.
DH does indeed need to work out what it is that he wants and stick to it, he's already messaged me today saying he feels terrible and wants to give me a hug... Not going to read too much into whether that means he feels terrible for the situation (but that is how he feels) or he feels terrible and that he's made a mistake. Won't have any clarity on that until tonight after DS is in bed as I'm adament that we're not having these talks in front of him. In a perfect world I'd love for him to want to stay, but equally I don't want to be in a marriage where I know my other half isn't happy or fully committed so will have to see.
Says that he still loves me and feels utterly shit about the situation but he also wants to be by himself for a while and not have the pressures of marriage or parenting.
So, so, so selfish.
FWIW I think everyone is within their rights to leave a relationship if they are unhappy. I don't believe everyone who leaves has someone else lined up and I think people are quick to jump to this conclusion when it isn't always true.
But he wants to opt out of being a parent temporarily?! Who does fuck he think he is?
On top of that, he's expecting you to just wait around until he decides to grace you all with his return?!
He wants a break from the pressure, not totally out... a temporary annual leave from marriage and parenting with an opt out or in option approved by you so he isn't the bad guy. Basically he wants to have his cake and eat it too.
He's being a prick OP, I'm really sorry.
He had dumped all this shit on you.
I think you should ask him to move out. Tell him that he can never opt out of being a parent and insist on 50/50 parenting.
That will soon wake his sorry arse up.
You need to take control here.
Tell him you need space to and to leave you alone for a bit.
He can't be texting you telling you he wants to hug you.
He is being and absolute selfish twat.
It's all about him. His needs. His wants.
So it’s taken him getting married and having a child to decide he doesn’t want a wife or children. What a selfish prick! And please don’t dismiss the possibility of there being another woman. At least 50% of the posters on here in your position swear that he wouldn’t and wouldn’t have even had a chance to, then a few more pages down the thread it turns out there was. You don’t go from happily married and trying for a second baby to wanting to abandon your wife and child in a week
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Thanks for the compassionate comment there EKGEMS. Made me feel great. I don't personally feel that wanting to believe that I tried to choose a decent person to spend the rest of my life with makes me a chump but we'll have to agree to disagree.
His communication has been appalling and I agree that it is not fair to want to partially back out of responsibility or take a break when I already do more than my fair share of keeping our family going. On this level I'll agree that his behaviour is not kind or well thought through. I've also taken on board the comments and finding a way for me to take back control for myself and our son, including talking about him moving out- maybe that would jolt him to consider the severity of what he's dumped in my lap to process.
I think EKGEMS was recommending the chump lady website which has lots of useful articles and advice for exactly your situation, rather than being rude!
No, OP, Chumplady is the author of a book and a blog about leaving unfaithful men.
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