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anyone had argumentative parents that DIDNT divorce?

(19 Posts)
vannah Tue 18-Sep-07 21:29:59

I would really like to know if anyone grew up with parents that didnt especially have a harmonious stable loving relationship, and one or both parents might have been unhappy but as a child (and even now) felt glad they didnt split up?

Im asking this because a lot of people have advised me to leave my husband. We've been married for 3 years, Ive had problems with him, and have suspected him of starting (Not having) an affair with someone that got cut short.

Consequently Im really sad, and though I dont have any real evidence of him cheating on me, I dont want to end the marriage.

My parents argued a lot throughout my childhood, I can remember sitting on the stairs listening. My mother didnt always look happy. But I can remember feeling scared about them breaking up when i was young.

Whereas so many people have recently said to me that they WISHED their arguing parents had broken up. I cant imagine that doesnt shake up a child unless the marriage is really abusive - either verbally or physically.

At the moment, dh and I are getting along well and my toddler is really happy. But at the back of my mind I have the affair I never quite discovered haunting me, and I do find myself sad or crying alone in the bathroom. But does this really warrant divorce?

I dont actually know that this post makes much sense....

NKF Tue 18-Sep-07 21:33:47

It makes a lot of sense but I don't know the answer. Are you and your husband talking about your fears and your suspicions or are they all bottled up?

vannah Tue 18-Sep-07 21:38:45

we have talked NKF, but he is tired of reassuring me that nothing happened between him and a girl at work. Though i have snippets of 'evidence'to suggest the opposite. Nothing really factual like texts or phonecalls or even late nights. Just other things...Bit long to go into that.

Though we've talked, he now doesnt want to talk about it and I still wonder...and will never know. One thing is for sure, if it did happen, he is mighty sorry now and has been so incredibly loving and considerate, kind and reassuring over the past couple of months. He may be feeling guilty. And though its nice to be loved so much, I still cant forget this girl. And do find the advice to leave him quite disturbing.

wohmum Tue 18-Sep-07 21:40:22

My parents didn;t have a happy marriage, but never split up (it really wasnt the doen thing back then!) and I'm glad. I honestly believe it is best for the kids if parents stick together (unless it is seriously bad)and personally feel it's a bit too accepted for the parents to opt out of marriage because they want something else in life. I'm not married (and haven't the best of relationships) with my other half but have been togther longer than some of my friends with what I always saw as 'the perfect relationship'. I've suprised myself that I feel so strongly about this !

hope it helps a bit,

sleepycat Tue 18-Sep-07 21:44:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wohmum Tue 18-Sep-07 21:45:26

I think you'd be mad to throw away a marriage on this basis - and many many people have nearly-affairs, or affairs that really don't mean anything, but they still love their family.

I feel I'm going to open up a debate here, and there are all sorts of views, but from what you've said you need to move on and put it behind you. if there's a next time and a next time or it goes on for years then that' different, but for one 'almost', 'maybe' fling, ?> nah, stick with it.

moljam Tue 18-Sep-07 21:48:57

vannah i could have written your post!dh kissed someone else-i left but returned 3 days later because i felt sad for the children(who thought we were on holiday).but my parents were unhappily married and myself and my 3 sisters were all glad when they split.so i guess im undecided!

sleepycat Tue 18-Sep-07 21:49:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vannah Tue 18-Sep-07 21:52:54

thankyou sleepycat and thankyou wohmum. Really good to hear that your parents argued and you didnt wish for them to break up.

Womum, I would like to move on (after all - i have decided to stay) and would like to stop moping around like the 'walking wounded' but I just cant erase the memory of her. God knows how to do that....

rantinghousewife Tue 18-Sep-07 21:53:23

Yes, my parents had what seemed to be a terrible marriage whilst I was growing. Always arguing and many times I wished they would break up, they're still together and have mellowed into their marriage somewhat. My dad did have an affair (he doesn't know I know this and neither does my mum) and if you'd have asked me ten years ago, I'd have said I wished they had broken up. But seeing them now, with all their dreams realised, I'm kind of glad they've stuck with it.

fireflyfairy2 Tue 18-Sep-07 21:53:50

My parents argued for almost 30 years & I used to go to bed at night praying they would split up!

They finally did after 30 odd years of marriage & 8 children.

I was glad, but wished they had done it years earlier as they get on far better now.

My sister is in the same kind of marriage. She has said she & her dh don't have conversations anymore, they just grunt at eachother & argue. I hate this.... I am always telling her to leave as arguing in front of the kids is what we grew up with & there's not one of us who haven't a scar of some sort.

bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 18-Sep-07 21:55:02

I am sorry you are going through this Vannah.

I had parents whose relationship was unhappy for all my childhood. My mum did suffer from depression which complicated matters. My father had very poor health and died when I was 18.

Their relationship was also complicated from the start by the fact he had a 1st wife and children. All my siblings have a great relationship though and my mum gets on well with dads 1st wife.

I remember lots of arguements tears and thrown dinners! But I had a good reltionship with my dad loved him very much and when my parents lived apart for 3 yrs I missed him. They moved back together when i was 15 and dad died 3 yrs later, so i am very glad they did decide to stay together because those last years with dad are very precious to me.

I cannot tell you to stay in a marriage that is dead - but if you want to stay together then work on trying to mend the rifts btwn you. Perhaps marriage counselling could help? I would hate hate hate putting my children through the pain of separation from their fathersad

NKF Tue 18-Sep-07 22:28:28

I think the problem you have with the girl is that he hasn't confirmed what you believe. Does that make sense? You're in different places. Are there any assurances that would convince you? Is it possible it wasn't quite what you believe it to be? If you're sure of your facts, can you live with knowing that he's not telling you the truth? I think you're stuck in this phase and the fact that you dislike the thought of splitting up is an indication that you don't want to.

HorseyWoman Thu 20-Sep-07 19:16:09

I am glad my parents split up, although I can't remember much arguing, when they did argue it was very scary, and their relationship was so unstable that my mum left a couple of times which made me feel shit every time. Then she discovered his affair and left for good. I now have lots of respect for her for that, but I also, despite his lack of interest in me, love my dad dearly. I don't think your parents' relationship affects YOUR relationship with them, and if it does, they were crap parents when in the couple, so apart makes no difference. Having said all that, I do remember wishing I had a dad when I was a kid, only so I looked like everyone else. But it hasn't scarred me! I have a good degree, a good career, good finances and an OKish relationship. I am not averse to divorce because of my own experience!

lovey Thu 20-Sep-07 19:22:12

Oh yes, I was terrified they would, but couldn't have coped if they had. Their arguing was horrible to hear, but they both have fiery personalities. It was hard to deal with, but I needed them to stay together.

yomellamoHelly Thu 20-Sep-07 19:35:02

Mine didn't and it poisoned the house. I felt very alone and scared from the time it started aged 4 and did make me grow up faster. My mum asked for a divorce the week after my youngest brother left uni. Best thing she ever did. I hated seeing how it destroyed her and she got a new lease of life when she finally broke free.
My father was a serial adulterer though. My mum found out affair nr 2 (had collected evidence to confront him - so definite proof unlike with you), but ultimately he couldn't/wouldn't stop despite a new job and moving and my mum bending over backwards to improve herself according to his reasons of why he'd strayed (again).
Aged 11 I announced to all his family (at some family get together) that they should just get a divorce much to their consternation. I don't think I was meant to know about such things but had spent a loooong time going over their relationship in my head, but ultimately it didn't change anything.

Mercy Thu 20-Sep-07 19:35:37

sorry for a short post (haven't read it all either) but yes, my parents had a far from happy marriage - they argued a lot but not really in front of us but you could still sense an atmosphere/a divide some of the time. (the marriage only ended because my father died fairly young).


History seems to be repeating itself unfortunately sad But I can now see why they stayed together.

(will get back to this later or tomorrow)

kindersurprise Thu 20-Sep-07 19:45:35

My parents used to argue a lot, never over anything serious, just niggly little things. They could argue over anything, and both were quick to take offence at the slightest wrong tone of voice.

I remember when I was about 14 sitting on the stairs with my brother, crying, watching my mother get the suitcase out of the loft.

Years later I told her that I was so upset for weeks afterwards and she was so astonished because she said she would never have left my Dad. She never realised how much their behaviour affected me.

They are much mellowed now and enjoy their retirement together.

I don't think that anyone should stay together for the sake of the children when both are seriously unhappy with the relationship. But I also do not think it is fair to ignore the feelings of the children. Sometimes parents are so busy with their little wars against each other that they do not realise how they affect their children.

Perhaps you would both benefit from being completely honest and talking frankly about your feelings. It sounds like you are walking over broken glass all the time.

vannah Thu 20-Sep-07 20:37:22

so interesting and so valuable to read all your experiences. I certainly do feel as though Im walking on broken glass all of the time.
NFK, the only thing that would assure me would be a lie detector test...and yes, it is possible that Im completely wrong and just creating a scenario in my head. Dont think I will ever know the answer to it.
And though we are no longer arguing, it does haunt me.

thankyou everyone for taking the time to share your stories

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