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Can staying together for the kids work?

(26 Posts)
WireBab44 Mon 11-May-20 23:36:46

I'm not sure if anyone can actually change my mind on this because I feel quite strongly of my position, but I do feel like I need other opinions/perspectives.

Bit of background (you can skip to next paragraph if you want! I don't want to ramble!): I had numerous 1–3 year relationships in my teens/20s and after that time they always petered out as I slowly fell out of love with the person. In my very late 20s I met now-husband and it seemed different. After 4 years things were still good, so we got married, settled down, had kids. Now I'm nearly 40 and I feel like I've reached that point again. So it did last longer this time, just not forever! I'm not sure I'm built for loooong-term relationships, and that's actually ok with me.

So now we have 2 kids, aged 4 and 2. I don't really have ANY romantic or sexual feelings towards my husband anymore, but we are good friends still. We don't fight or anything like that. If we didn't have kids, I'm quite sure I'd break up with him though. Just because a good friendship is not actually a good husband-wife relationship, is it? And I kind of like the idea of being on my own. But anyway, we DO have kids, and it would kill either one of us to not be able to see them every day. And obviously it would be much better for them, us all staying together.

We bicker sometimes but never anything major. If we were to ever divorce, I don't think I'd try for another long-term relationship again, since I'm sure it would end up the same way. So if I'm gonna stay in a "companionship" relationship, might as well be with my husband since we're pretty darn good companions, and we have kids together!

So, does anyone think I'm crazy just to think screw it, I'll just stick with this? I'm never going to be one of those people who remain madly in love with my partner and has a wild sex life into our 60s or whatever, but I will keep my family together, I will have a partner who I can talk to and share lots of similar interests with, etc. Our life philosophies and all of that are perfectly aligned.

Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
Sugartitss Mon 11-May-20 23:38:08


BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 11-May-20 23:38:47

I think your dh deserves to have the choice too.

You are basically saying "I'm sticking with a meh relationship because it's enough for me" what if it's not enough for him?

Sugartitss Mon 11-May-20 23:40:35

this is really selfish and unfair on your part op. your husband deserves to be loved properly in a healthy relationship and your children won’t thank you when they’re older.

you also deserve better and i suspect you are built for long relationships m with the right person

WireBab44 Mon 11-May-20 23:44:55

I think your dh deserves to have the choice too

He does doesn't he? I'm not forcing him into anything! I'm not even talking about changing anything. This already is how our relationship is right now, so by staying I'd just be maintaining the status quo.

You are basically saying "I'm sticking with a meh relationship because it's enough for me" what if it's not enough for him?

But if it's not enough for him, he can tell me, surely? He could be having this same debate in his head, and where I choose to just stick with it, he could choose to tell me he wants to split up.

OP’s posts: |
TARSCOUT Mon 11-May-20 23:45:17

I think although your DH may agree just now what happens when he meets someone else. That's going to be worse as kids will be older and brings a whole host of issues. Resentment will happen, by one or both parties. Better to make a clean break.

WireBab44 Mon 11-May-20 23:45:31

I admit though the biggest problem on my conscience is that he doesn't know I feel this way.

OP’s posts: |
TARSCOUT Mon 11-May-20 23:46:38

Sorry I thought he knew. You need to come clean.

Sugartitss Mon 11-May-20 23:49:03

of course you haven’t told him but you should otherwise you’re just taking the piss out of him.

don’t be a martyr.

Mybrowneyedgal Mon 11-May-20 23:49:20

If he doesn't know you feel this way then you are being very cruel. He deserves to know that you're only sticking with him for the kids, so he can make an informed choice of his own.

LadyB49 Mon 11-May-20 23:49:31

Have you never discussed this with him.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 11-May-20 23:50:07

Do you make him think you have sexual feelings for him? Do you make him think you have romantic feelings for him?

EastMidsMumOf1 Mon 11-May-20 23:50:56

Maybe sitting down and hearing his views on it? He might be staying quiet on the matter because he also believes the same as you and is just kinda going with it. If you both speak it will give a chance for either you to say you want to separate or your DH.
PPs are right too, he does deserve to be able to have a choice in the matter, as you've said you're still great friends and if you see him as such then you should give him that respect and courtesy of making your feelings clear. Its only fair.

For your question I dont believe staying together for the kids can work, not long term anyway!

WireBab44 Mon 11-May-20 23:50:58

Presumably he knows I'm not madly in love with him just as I'm pretty sure he's not madly in love with me? I mean, we're both in the same relationship and it feels quite clear.

OP’s posts: |
WireBab44 Mon 11-May-20 23:51:36

Do you make him think you have sexual feelings for him? Do you make him think you have romantic feelings for him?

Nope, and he doesn't to me either.

OP’s posts: |
Cherrybakewelll Mon 11-May-20 23:53:55

When you say about the romantic feeling. Are you & DH still having sex because this surely is important?

I think you should ask him how he feels.

StarWars222 Mon 11-May-20 23:57:08

Hmm, could work. But only if both on the same page. That could make for an awkward conversation.....

TracyBeakerSoYeah Tue 12-May-20 00:01:25

From working out your timeline I guess you've been married around 7-8 years?
So sounds like a classic case of 7 year itch.
Ask yourself this question: if your DH died or ran off with another woman/man tomorrow & then how would you feel?
If the answer is I'd be shocked/devasted/bereft then you have your answer.
If your answer is couldn't care less/not bothered then there's your answer.
Life isn't always easy/straightforward or perfect but using those questions had always helped me clarify my thoughts & decisions.

OldWomanSaysThis Tue 12-May-20 00:20:02

There's an article in The New York Times about couples where both died of COVID and there's this quote about one of the couples that I thought was sad, but I guess some people would say is noble:

“It’s not like their marriage was a love story, because it was not,” said Bonnie Hammaker, one of Becky Lender’s sisters. “But they were committed to the marriage. You would never find them holding hands, but you would always find them together.”

It's not what I would want for my life, but people do it.

TobyHouseMan Tue 12-May-20 00:56:10

If you can stay together and make a happy home this is best for your kids.

BackseatCookers Tue 12-May-20 01:12:34

My parents did this and told me so when they split and I was 18.

I simultaneously felt guilty and angry.

Guilty because it felt like those years of unhappiness were caused by me and that is a hell of a thing to know.

Angry because they spent years doing something that would make me feel guilty as an adult and those years I spent walking on eggshells in a tense unhappy household.

And I've had to have a good few years of therapy to undo the relationship modelling they showed me.

I didn't realise that couples can and should be happy together, should laugh, kiss and cuddle and hold hands, be kind to each other. That you don't just have to stay and make it work with someone no matter what because you made vows years previously.

That while all relationships take work, it shouldn't be that hard that you're both unhappy a lot of the time.

Abusive relationships and therapy later... I'm finally in a loving relationship with someone who makes me laugh loads every day and is my best friend.

I'm 33 and it's taken me until now. I'm only now in a position to have kids because I have a stable relationship I want to bring kids into.

And that isn't me blaming my parents for everything - of course there were lots of other factors involved. And they love me to bits and thought it was the right thing to do. I just wish someone could have told them it wasn't.

CayrolBaaaskin Tue 12-May-20 01:25:31

I think if you stay together with no love for a long time the other person can start to irritate you profoundly.

Wannabegreenfingers Tue 12-May-20 06:54:30

Dont do it, my parents did and its miserable and puts a lot of pressire and guilt on the child when they are older and in the know.

Treacletoots Tue 12-May-20 07:27:11

This could well be the reason some people look to have affairs. Men generally don't leave unless they've another one lined up.

You know it's not going to work out in the long run and you only get one life ! If you split now while its amicable hopefully you'll be able to come to an agreement with the DC that won't fuck them up (I mean this in the nicest way) whereas if one of you eventually has an affair then it won't be so friendly..

category12 Tue 12-May-20 07:31:32

I think it's unsuitable staying if there was unhappiness, but if you get on and are content and co-parenting well, it sounds alright.

Maybe it would be worth working on the marriage, trying to reignite the spark rather than just settling into companionship, tho. As giving up on sex forever at this stage, seems sad and unlikely. Also either of you might find your head turned given the right (wrong) opportunity. Smashing the relationship with infidelity would be unfortunate.

Having young kids is a romance killer anyway. You have a good basis to your marriage, and you might find you can rekindle.

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