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How do I end the "perfect" marriage?

(23 Posts)
barefootbabe Sat 25-Jul-20 13:04:08

I am unhappy in my 20+ years marriage but my husband thinks it is perfect. He constantly tells me he loves me and I am beautiful but then 5 mins later will snap over the most ridiculous thing leaving us all treading on egg shells. I realise how I have made my own bed by allowing him to lead the life he wants and not ask for what I want. He is happy with not doing much (including not working) not wanting friends round, having no ambition. He doesn't like people really, would like to live somewhere remote when kids leave home. When we met I thought he was an exciting peace loving hippy type! Expects us all to be quiet if he want us to but never shows the same respect to me and the kids - thinks we should all be grateful when he really doesn't pull his weight in the relationship and controls us all but not in a direct enough way to call it out without me "overreacting". I'm 45 and don't want to spend my life like this. When I think about the things I want to do he is not in the picture. Our relationship is turning into the one his parents (no longer alive) had where his Dad was grumpy, had no friends and is mum was downtrodden. My 16 year old DD told me our marriage looks perfect from outside but people don't know what it is like at home and it isn't normal. How can I start having a discussion around this without it seeming like it has come from nowhere or that I am just a petty moaning nag. I've just run out of emotional energy and feel totally disconnected from the marriage.

OP’s posts: |
Tappering Sat 25-Jul-20 13:10:00

It's not the perfect marriage. And you are allowed to say "I'm not happy anymore and I want to separate".

First off, I would look at the practicalities. If your H could change, would you want to stay married? If so then it's worth a conversation to make him aware of your feelings and asking him to invest his time and effort in changing - attending counselling etc.

However if it's gone too far and the love is gone, then I would use this time to think about what separating will look like. Speak to a solicitor to get legal advice on your position, work out what your income will look like, where will you live if the house needs to be sold etc. Find and take copies of financial statements - pensions, bank accounts and investments and so on. Make sure yours and the kids passports and birth certificates are in a safe place. So that you are ready for the conversation where you tell him that you want to separate.

Itstartedinbarcelona Sat 25-Jul-20 13:11:16

It doesn’t sound very perfect. How old are your DC? Are you independent financially?

Tappering Sat 25-Jul-20 13:11:17

PS nobody is obliged to stay married if they don't want to. Being unhappy is a valid reason to divorce.

madcatladyforever Sat 25-Jul-20 13:11:44

As tappering said, gather all of the information then tell him straight you are divorcing him because you have been miserable for a long time, then set it all in motion.

Itstartedinbarcelona Sat 25-Jul-20 13:13:11

I firmly believe that people should work through problems if possible but behaviour patterns get set in relationships and it doesn’t sound like your husband would be open to changing. Have you discussed it with him?

Dery Sat 25-Jul-20 13:22:39

I doubt your marriage looks perfect to the outside world to be honest and it sounds awful. Abusive in fact. Of course he feels like he loves you - he has everything his own way - but he contributes more or less nothing to your family life - he is a lazy, selfish, entitled manchild who spends his time exactly as he wants to and controls the household with his moods and utterly selfish attitudes.

What an awful example to your children. What a huge drain on you.

So do you want to end it? Or do you want to talk to him? It sounds like you don’t want to be married to him any more. If you do want to talk to him, stop worrying about how you sound. Of course, he will experience you as nagging - that’s neither here nor there. You just focus on the message you want to convey to him.

And if you do want to start planning to leave, you may find helpful information at this link: www.marriage.com/advice/separation/thinking-about-leaving-your-husband/amp/

Aquamarine1029 Sat 25-Jul-20 13:28:12

I don't think any "conversation" needs to be had because he won't listen to you anyway. Tell him you are deeply unhappy and the marriage is over. Get a solicitor and move forward.

Horehound Sat 25-Jul-20 13:32:23

You're not asking him op, your feelings are valid and if you just don't want to be with him...that's OK!
You just have to say "look your attitude is not of someone I want to spend my life with anymore. You're weighing me down and I want to separate." There is nothing wrong with wanting to do exciting things, see friends, travel, be happy etc

That's all. Good luck to you, you're making the right decision and I think you will feel so free once it's done smile

Aquamarine1029 Sat 25-Jul-20 14:11:53

My 16 year old DD told me our marriage looks perfect from outside but people don't know what it is like at home and it isn't normal.

When your child tells you your marriage is dysfunctional, it's really time to take action. What kind of example do you want to set for her? I'm sure you don't want her to end up in the position you're in now.

1forAll74 Sat 25-Jul-20 14:22:02

If you have really seriously thought about your unhappy marriage, and no way forward anymore, then you should leave.

But I had some niggling issues in a near perfect marriage, many many years ago, and finally divorced, but really regretted it later.

My ex remarried, and his life was made very unhappy with a demanding new wife. After the upset of divorce,I remained good friends with my ex, right up until he died six years ago. We had been divorced for about 30 years. I have been single ever since.

GilbertMarkham Sat 25-Jul-20 14:22:17

I doubt he'll change.

You can end a marriage if you want to, for whatever reason you want. You could do it without his cooperation whatsoever if you separate and wait out the five years. (Though blokes like this often move into a new "host" quite quickly and may well be up for divorcing earlier).

Forget aboutout the "jury", most people don't really give a fuck and the ones who apparently do will adjust. It's your life, not theirs and you e already been unhappy for decades of it.

Weetabixandcrumpets Sat 25-Jul-20 14:39:07

I do think you need to have a talk about how unhappy you are feeling. You have mentioned that you have never asked for what you want, so there is a chance (a slim one) that he may react appropriately and change. That doesn't excuse bad behaviour, but if it is an unchallenged habit he might not be quite as attuned as he should be to the fact he is being so selfish.

Have a really good think about exactly what it is that you want to change and how it can happen, and have the discussion. I think his reaction and actions will tell you all you need to know.

tara66 Sat 25-Jul-20 14:41:06

You just let him know you want a divorce. You should not be worrying about how you might seem to other i.e. ''a nag''. You seem defeated before you even start. Divorce is hard work and not pretty usually.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 25-Jul-20 14:42:07

My 16 year old DD told me our marriage looks perfect from outside but people don't know what it is like at home and it isn't normal.

That's your motivation. Plan to leave, then leave.

FizzyGreenWater Sat 25-Jul-20 14:49:59

How can I start having a discussion around this without it seeming like it has come from nowhere or that I am just a petty moaning nag.

Why does it matter if it seems to have 'come from nowhere'? It hasn't, is the point.

Of course he's going to say that. It doesn't mean it's true. It means that you've kept your mouth shut for years and you can't do it anymore.

If you want to prepare the ground, you could start commenting when he's in a 'good' mood.

He constantly tells me he loves me

Next time, you reply:

'I wish you'd stop saying that, it doesn't feel very sincere when I know in five minutes time you're probably going to be screaming at one of us if we're making too much noise or doing something else you don't approve of. There's not much genuine love that I see in this relationship, it's about control and pretending. I've had enough of pretending really.'

CharlotteCollinsneeLucas Sat 25-Jul-20 14:55:50

If you want to have a discussion with the aim of seeing if things can be improved, then could you try just mentioning one thing when it happens? For example, "I'd really like quiet at the moment and you know I'd do the same for you." Is that the sort of thing you're not saying? In this way, you're not making a big thing of anything, but you're relearning the skill of saying what you want.

1WildTeaParty Sat 25-Jul-20 14:58:56

You are so right to re-think things and not be resigned to a future like this OP.

I suppose marriage-councilling is for exactly this sort of thing. Whether you decide to change together or separate permanently- it is going to be less than easy to sort out and there is pain ahead for you both.

Years ago when on a 'prepare to be married' course (one you had to do if you wanted a wedding in our local church) one of the speakers gave us all questionaires to be filled in alone. These asked seemingly random questions about household priorities - life ambitions - plans for spending/saving money - ideal holidays and so on. We answered them alone and then were asked to swop papers with our partners.

The volume of talk that erupted in the room as people compared answers! There was some laughter but also some shock. It turns out that there are many little things about life that you just assume!

If just talking about your future looks difficult - could you open the discussion by trying something like this?

It sounds as if you have had thoughts about your own priorities and ambitions.

He doesn't sound like a happy man - even though he is constantly telling you he is.

Isthisfinallyit Sat 25-Jul-20 15:10:15

How can I start having a discussion around this without it seeming like it has come from nowhere or that I am just a petty moaning nag.

There is no discussion necessary because he doesn't need to agree with you. You inform him that you don't love him anymore, don't want to stay so are divorcing him. Which is the truth.

likeamother Sat 25-Jul-20 15:10:26

Yes, let that comment from your daughter motivate you. She knows, you know. In fact, he probably knows but is conditioning you not to leave or have your own free thoughts about the marriage by TELLING you it's perfect and that he loves you, even though his actions and behaviour show you it's anything but.

I'm separating at the moment and even though we're still living together I'm already much happier knowing that I'm finally living honestly and truthfully. It's YOUR life, the only one you can save.

On that note, have a read of this, The Journey by Mary Oliver. It knocked me sideways and helped me make the decision to go, and has since got me through any tough times, fear and wobbles. Listen to your own voice flowers www.phys.unm.edu/~tw/fas/yits/archive/oliver_thejourney.html

DianaT1969 Sat 25-Jul-20 19:47:36

As I read your OP I was sure you were going to say you were 60 years old and couldn't see how to make a new life. 45?? I'd be out of there like a shot.

YouUnlockedTheGateAnd Sat 25-Jul-20 19:57:45

Fizzygreen nails it. As ever

GeorgiaGirl52 Sat 25-Jul-20 20:24:21

Aquamarine1029

*My 16 year old DD told me our marriage looks perfect from outside but people don't know what it is like at home and it isn't normal.*

When your child tells you your marriage is dysfunctional, it's really time to take action. What kind of example do you want to set for her? I'm sure you don't want her to end up in the position you're in now.

This.
You don't have to prepare him or explain to him. You just tell him.
But first, get copies of all important documents, get a separate bank account, cancel any joint credit cards, get a lawyer and make plans for your own future and your children.

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