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Shit I don't know if I can do this anymore.(16 Posts)
I have been with DH for 20 yrs. we met at uni. He was intelligent, loving & good fun. He adored me.
We have been best friends ever since. We have amazing sex. We make each other laugh. Or rather we used to. We traveled the world together. We progressed our careers. We have two beautiful boys. We finally bought a big house last year. It felt like things were finally coming together.
But, DH has a high maintenance family. He has various issues that make him quite depressed / angry / stressed sometimes. He has been quite hard to live with. He is quick to anger & drinks too much. He knows this & has been trying to change. We have always talked about everything very honestly. I asked him to have counselling. He did. He stopped drinking, did exercise & was nice again. He said he felt happy.
He has found lockdown really stressful. He has started stressing about the future of his job. He is just so easily overwhelmed. Tonight he blew up at the kids because they were being loud & a bit cheeky. Like kids do. I asked him to go for a walk & calm down. I'm so tired. He's making me anxious every day. I just want us all to be happy. But I keep having the sneaking suspicion that I'm banging my head against a brick wall here. I love him. I just don't know if we really bring out the best in each other anymore. I told him how he made me feel today & he said that breaks his heart. Then gave a very disingenuous apology & has stomped off to the spare room.
I'm just so tired. I just can't bear to break our boy's life apart. I find myself going round and round in circles with this quite often. I'm sorry this has been so long & rambling. Felt good to get it out. I haven't told anyone about this. We look like we have a wonderful life on the outside. It's so sad & exhausting. Can people really get better? Does marriage counselling help? I haven't stopped all day. I just want a peaceful happy home.
I'm so sorry for this.
I think in your shoes I'd give marriage counselling a go/another go.
If you cannot live together, you can still parent your boys together.
I have heard that marriage counselling does work. It may, or may not save your marriage, but it will help you communicate more effectively for the benefit of your son, whether you are together or not. I wish you all the very best.
Haven't you already posted this once
Thank you for your replies. No have not posted this.
You’ve been together for so long maybe it’s run it’s course? Why don’t you rent somewhere and live apart for 6 months. Trial separation. Doesn’t have to be permanent but will give you space and a reset button. You can still be friends and see each other but you don’t have to be around the exploding
Counselling is a long process, requiring a fair bit of energy and resilience. But then, breaking up a family takes far more.
I also would steer clear of making huge decisions during this COVID period. The underlying constant stress does colour things enormously.
It may well be that you can look back on this whole period as an unfortunate chapter in the relationship. Not the final chapter.
Spend time finding the right counsellor, and the right counselling style. Don’t expect quick fixes or pivots. It can get dark before the light. You dig into the issues, which often unearths bigger, darker issues. You learn new tools for dealing with those, and slowly get the right boundaries built (including between your DH and his family?). You both go off and do self-growth stuff, deal with your individual stuff.
Then, hopefully, come back together with fewer obstacles between you and happy coupledom.
Or you (or he, or both) decide that some serious issues are dealbreakers so will divorce.
But those first months of therapy are really worth doing, whatever the ultimate outcome. You’ll need those insights and tools to successfully co-parent, role-model and form future relationships. It’s never wasted.
I also think people like being able to face their kids one day and honestly say that they tried everything before calling it quits. Counselling is very helpful for this.
You mention his high maintenance family, where does that figure?
Is there underlying depression that is causing irritability? Is he self medicating with the alcohol? I would start a journal and see how often and regular the incidents are, it helps to determine how your life is being impacted.
The fact that he tries to change and acknowledges it is positive so potentially there is hope, just need to find the right strategies for his triggers.
How do the dc feel about him?
A trial separation sounds so disruptive for the kids.
That 20 years has gone by in the blink of an eye. We have also had a lot of good times & I think we'd all be so devastated if we broke up. I know that sounds a bit pathetic.
I guess we just need to decide to make it work or give up. We have talked it through this morning & he says he is sad too & wants to make me / us happy.
You are right about Covid @Girlzroolz
"It may well be that you can look back on this whole period as an unfortunate chapter in the relationship. Not the final chapter."
I hope so. I really do.
And thanks for the good advice about counselling. I think I might need some too. Yes it will be challenging. But so is feeling like this.
How do you find the right counsellor I wonder?
His family are a long story that I win't go into here. We manage them together fine. But I know where his anger cones from originally if that makes sense.
The DC adore him. He adores them. And fully owns up when he has not behaved in the most helpful way.
He has really been trying hard to work on himself this year. I guess it's not an immediate turn around.
It’s tough if the apology sounds disingenuous, but it sounds like he has taken everything on bird and really tried to change which is more than can be said for 99% of the posts I read on here.
Hearing your flaws is never going to be pleasant to hear, but I really really don’t think this is marriage ending material. It sounds like you have great communication which is easily the hardest thing to get in a marriage. I would say try the counselling. It’s clear that you want to make it work and of it doesn’t at least you can hand on your heart say you did all you could
Sounds like he's having difficulty coping with stress. It's healthy to get a little stressed about things and to actually care if things seem to be going badly, but it's stressful living with someone who is huffy and stressy all the time. You are probably quite sensitive to how he's feeling, which makes it worse, plus you're seeing his behaviour change towards the kids.
He needs to sort his stress out himself and show that he at least cares about the effect it's having by actually doing something about it. You should not be his emotional manager - it's up to him to manage his own emotions.
Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful responses.
It's been helpful.
Yes totally agree that it's tough hearing negative things about yourself. And I know I'm not perfect either.
I think we do communicate well for the most part.
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