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Has anyone ever 'stayed for the kids' and NOT regretted it?

(50 Posts)
mybeliever Thu 04-Jun-20 21:13:58

My DP is not terrible or anything but I just feel like I've outgrown him. If I was single I wouldn't choose him again. I was 16 when we got together and I just have different values now. But realistically I'm 22 with 2 kids and no real career (currently on mat leave), what exactly would I do if I left him? I don't think my kids would have a better/worse life either way, although it would potentially confuse/upset my eldest initially. We have good times and bad times together.

Any tips or advice appreciated x

OP’s posts: |
PicsInRed Thu 04-Jun-20 21:26:47

But realistically I'm 22 with 2 kids and no real career (currently on mat leave)

You are so, achingly young. Don't waste the young.

what exactly would I do if I left him?

Suit yourself for the next 60+ years?

We have good times and bad times together.

What sort of bad times?

zippyswife Thu 04-Jun-20 21:30:06

Wow. You’re so young. Get out now while you can. I don’t think you’ll look back. Best of luck.

FTMF30 Thu 04-Jun-20 21:37:18

Maybe you should speak to DP about this. Let him know you feel you are growing a part and give him a chance to address this. People sometimes get in a funk when they've been together for a long term but I think it's unfair to just up and leave him pretty blindsided as he hasn't done anything wrong from what you've said.

BigBreakfast Thu 04-Jun-20 21:44:45

I stayed. DC are young adults now and I don't regret it for a minute. I work with teens and the trauma caused by parental relationship breakdown is huge and long lasting.

Our relationship hasn't been awful, I haven't been miserable but I do sometimes feel I've missed out on a more fulfilling relationship but I wouldn't trade that for a life where children have to split their time between two homes etc.

Any kind of violence or abuse, yes of course get out, but if it's "just" that you could be happier, I think it's better for the children if you stay. I know many will disagree.

mybeliever Thu 04-Jun-20 22:09:23

That's the thing. I feel like leaving would be selfish of me. I'm certainly not miserable.

We can have a laugh together. He doesn't do as much around the house and with the kids as I'd like (he plays with them a lot but that's it). I feel like he's unnecessarily rude to me sometimes (he never used to be but he can't see that he's changed). He says nothing's ever good enough for me.

Also, if I left he would still be their dad. He would still see them, influence them so whether he's the type of father I'd choose for my kids after they are already here is irrelevant really. Again he's not awful, but if I was to write a list of what I wanted from a partner now, I don't think he'd tick any of the boxes sad.

OP’s posts: |
choosesoap Thu 04-Jun-20 22:15:10

gosh life hasnt even started for most people at 22. dont settle at this age when you're not totally happy. if hes a decent person you will be able to comparent well and the kids will learn that she should strive for true love and happiness in their lives!

choosesoap Thu 04-Jun-20 22:15:45

co-parent *

user1481840227 Fri 05-Jun-20 00:16:56

At 22 you should never ever considering settling in this relationship.

It is guaranteed that the way you feel will only get worse...and if you stay you will look back and wish so much that you had ended it at 22.

BubblyBluePebbles Fri 05-Jun-20 00:24:35

Soo young. Don't waste your life away staying for the kids. Plus, kids pick up on these things anyway.
It might just be a lockdown phase. If so, hang on in there and see how you feel after things ease up re. Covid-19.
If you're still not happy and it cannot be fixed then leave. Leave if he's abusive, especially as you would not want your kids to grow up in that kind of environment.

SandyY2K Fri 05-Jun-20 00:46:53

22 is young to have 2 kids and as you met him as a child at 16, you will have grown as a person.

Perhaps part of the issue is not living your life and enjoying the things a lot of young people would, before having the responsibility of 2 kids.

You haven't really had much off an opportunity to work and be carefree.

You may well stay for now while the kids are so young, but I see you being unfulfilled in the long term and splitting up years down the line.

Onthemaintrunkline Fri 05-Jun-20 05:37:51

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side you know. You got together whilst very young, you haven’t had the opportunity of variety, but it’s not a given you’d have had ‘good’ variety. But that’s something you’ll never know. Yes, you’re young, and maybe you want to do things sometimes that you see others your age doing who don’t have the responsibilities you have, that’s normal. Can you not talk to your DP, is there not a chance bearing in mind your history you can’t continue to grow together, search and find fulfilment together. Good luck

stellabelle Fri 05-Jun-20 06:23:58

I did, and I never regretted it. My children had a secure home while growing up, and they never had to deal with the trauma of split households. Their father wasn't a bad dad, just a thoughtless husband. The kids had both of us around all the time and we made a lot of good memories. I had to make some sacrifices, and to hold my tongue sometimes, but it wasn't all that hard to keep up a good front.

I left when the kids were in their early 20's, and both had left home by then. They were puzzled by my decision because they genuinely thought everything had been fine - so much for the normal comments you read about how kids are automatically miserable in such situations.

It's been a few years since I left - I'm remarried now and so is my ex. I've never regretted staying " for the kids". Obviously if he'd been abusive I'd have left sooner, but he wasn't , and I'm happy that I kept the family together.

megrichardson Fri 05-Jun-20 06:27:14

I was in a similar situation to yours, OP and I stayed for a while and got myself trained so that I was ready to earn my own living for me and the kids. And also, I stayed to see if things would improve (I actually stayed for 15 years) but things didn't improve. It's a tough one.

bert3400 Fri 05-Jun-20 06:34:27

I left my then H when my kids were very young 6months & 2. He wasn't abusive as such but he did make my skin crawl and I no longer loved him or even liked him. I had lost all respect as he was very lazy and lied constantly. I managed to remove him from my home ( I had brought it before we met) . 3 years later I met my now DH. He was my one and only. We have been together for 22 years and I could not be happier. He has been a brilliant stepdad to my now adult children along with a brilliant father to our two children together.
You are so young ( as I was) and imagine spending the next 18 years with your DH...could you do it ? You deserve happiness, everyone does .

AlternativePerspective Fri 05-Jun-20 06:36:53

I agree with @ BigBreakfast too many people here will tell you that you should leave. But IMO too many people are too quick to walk away from a relationship and throw their children into an unsettled life in pursuit of their own perceived happiness which may never actually happen.

I think that once you have children you owe it to them to keep their own lives as stable as possible, assuming there is no actual abuse or violence (and people will try to paint his not always helping with the kids as abuse, so watch out for that).

The grass isn’t always greener, and even for the kids it will be massively unsettling, anyone who tells you that the children are better off is generally saying that to justify their own decisions.

But think about:

Not seeing your children for 50% of the time.

Having your children potentially favour being with their dad over you.

Not ever meeting someone else because you can’t find someone your age who would want to be with a woman with two kids, while your DP moves on and brings a new woman, and potentially more siblings, into your children’s lives...

Your children seeing another woman as a mother figure (as they’re young this is very possible, likely even), wanting to see their dad more because their baby brother/sister is there.

Your children being upset because mummy and daddy can’t both go to their school play.

Not being able to have all their toys in one place but having to choose what they can play with based on which house they’re in.

These are obviously worst case scenarios, but is your relationship with your DP really bad enough to want to do all that?

You need to talk to him. If you’re unhappy then maybe he is as well? How would you feel if he was the one who walked out tomorrow?

Covert19 Fri 05-Jun-20 06:53:04

I think you have to bear in mind that no person is responsible for your happiness. You are obviously unhappy / dissatisfied with your life and you think a different man would address that. He probably wouldn’t. You should talk to your partner about how you feel and see if you can together build a more fulfilling relationship- part of that might be you working on your own self esteem. In my marriage I have had times of thinking a different person would make me happier or be more exciting or whatever, but when I stop focusing on how I feel and start focusing on making him happy, it all improves. Love is putting others first. Sometimes you just have to decide to do that, however you feel, and love grows from it.

(Big caveat here is that he is of the same mind and also focusses on making you happy. Relationships are a two way thing, which is why you need to talk to him.)

Mat leave can be a time of feeling quite isolated and down - you might feel differently when you return to work and have a little more “you” time.

Pugsrus Fri 05-Jun-20 06:53:54

Agree with big breakfast ,I know a lot of my friends are doing this

Bluemoooon Fri 05-Jun-20 06:54:28

I would address the career issue. I'm not sure being in a crap boring job and having no help in the house is better if you're single.
Can you afford a cleaner for a couple of hours a week?

Pugsrus Fri 05-Jun-20 06:55:02

Alternative perspective saves me writing a long message 100% agree

category12 Fri 05-Jun-20 07:38:40

I'd focus on training or studying or getting a career started so that if you decide to go it alone, you're well placed to do so. You may find that doing that gives you the boost you need and that it's not so much the relationship but your current situation.

category12 Fri 05-Jun-20 07:43:42

If you are staying, you need to go to relationship counselling to stop the rot of him speaking rudely to you, etc. You need to be able to grow and live without being put down.

Because if that goes on, it'll get worse and turn into contempt. Needs to be addressed.

BigBreakfast Fri 05-Jun-20 08:09:44

What I would say is I had a fulfilling life of my own, I think that must be important for your happiness regardless of the quality of your relationship. I can't imagine feeling fulfilled if someone else is responsible for your wellbeing.

I've had a sport that has provided a focus and achievements I'm very proud of and a wide social group, quite literally from all walks of life.

I did a degree PT when DC were very small and was moving up a good career by the time they started school. This meant I was never dependant on DH, I was never "trapped" and knew I could leave if it wanted/needed to. It also provided a sense of purpose and status and whilst colleagues weren't always my kind of people, they were an intelligent, educated group who provided a source of intellectual debate/discussion I wasn't getting at home.

mybeliever Fri 05-Jun-20 09:18:55

thanks everyone. I think working on myself and my career is good advice. I have 1 year left of my degree. I just really don't want to be away from my kids 5 days a week, that's what's holding me back. Do part time career opportunities exist?!

He refuses to go to counselling, he has his own issues I suppose and doesn't like to talk about his feelings. He just seems happy with the way things are unless we're arguing. I also bite my tongue a lot.

Not seeing your children for 50% of the time.

This upsets me a lot. If only I had a crystal ball to see how things would work out either way.

OP’s posts: |
category12 Fri 05-Jun-20 09:28:17

I think you should push for relationship counselling - it's really unhealthy for him to continue to speak unpleasantly to you and for you to have to watch what you say all the time. It'll worsen and turn what's tolerable into something dysfunctional, and that's not the family environment you want for your dc.

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