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If we didn't have dc I wouldn't still be with dh. But it's not bad enough to split

(18 Posts)
BreathlessCommotion Sat 26-Sep-20 19:27:23

We nearly split over a year ago, at my instigation because I felt so emotionally neglected (abused?). We did counselling and things got better. But then even though stuff was better I couldn't shift the feeling of being unhappy. We nearly split again, just before lockdown. Then over lockdown we got on well, weirdly. We became more of a team with the dc, he was fantastically supportive when my mental health became bad. He possibly has ASD and has really made an effort to communicate with me better.

But, but, but... The feelings come back every so often still. A bit of it is the 'ick' stuff where he just irritates me and I know that we are such different people. Parenting, marriage is all made harder by us having such different outlooks and experiences. But nothing is awful, we get on, we laugh, it's all fine. But I don't particularly feel like sex with him, and honestly it's never been that great.

Here's the worst bit. When I first said I wanted to split I had an exit affair, well 3 encounters with someone. I know that so much of it was about wanting to feel wanted, and escaping the dullness of life (2 dc, primary age, one has SEND). I've stayed in touch with this man, although only in a friendly way. I've also had therapy and been examining sexual relationships I had with women when younger.

What I do know from therapy and everything that if we didn't have the dc, I would not still be with dh (we had dc within first year of marriage, got married quickly as well). But then friends say there is something to be said for boring and safe and loving. Dh loves me and I do love him, only not in the same way. Affair man is entirely unsuitable/impractical and I know what a bitch I am for doing that. It doesn't make it OK, but some of the ways dh has treated me in the past definitely were emotional abuse

Fuck what a mess I've made of my life and now dh and dc life. I don't want to break up our family. I would if things were still like they were. But the if get the feeling that dh does a lot of stuff now in order to keep me,rather than it being how you treat someone. And I want good sex. I'm 38, I'm not ready to give up in good sex.

So tell me what a bitch I am and I don't have real problems, might be a good slap in the face I need.

OP’s posts: |
FrolickingLemon Sat 26-Sep-20 19:32:14

It's a mess.
You do need to split.
Apart from anything else, I'm a great believer that if you have kids, it's an even bigger reason not to stay together.
(Split from partner when DD was 18 months old as I would not being her up whilst in a clearly unhappy relationship)

IdblowJonSnow Sat 26-Sep-20 19:39:23

The thing is op, how long could you maintain this for? 5 years? 10 years?
Do you have financial independence?
I think you should split up too.
No point berating you for exit affair but it sounds like you might do it again and that really wouldn't be fair...

category12 Sat 26-Sep-20 19:46:53

I think it's been a mistake for you still to be in contact with the OM, even as "friends". You haven't fully disengaged and still had a toe out the door the whole time.

At the same time, if too much has happened with your dh, and if you have suffered emotional abuse at his hands, trying again was a mistake too. Sometimes things can't be fixed.

"Boring and safe and loving" are not what you have with your DH if he's been abusive in the past - there's always that chance he could revert.

I'd look to have a fresh start by splitting up.

WellQualifiedToRepresentTheLBC Sat 26-Sep-20 19:54:15

If he's abused you in the past i'm not sure you could feel safe enough to muster up the level of vulnerability needed to move on from an affair.

It's that simple isn't it?

What's keeping you in the marriage? Practically speaking, as well as emotionally?

BreathlessCommotion Sat 26-Sep-20 20:00:02

A lot of it started when I was pregnant with dc1. It wasn't planned and dh wasn't sure he wanted dc. I had to do the vast majority of baby stuff, nights etc. If I ever asked for help he would say it was my fault, as this was what I wanted. When dc2 was 6 months old I broke my foot. He refused to do any night feeds (bottle fed) and I had to manage by scooting across chairs to the cot and lift her back.

I spent time in a mother and baby unit when dc2 was born. He would continually tell me how much stress this caused him. Again he said it was my fault as this (second dc) was what I wanted.

He would frequently gaslight me, any emotion was me overreacting/being ridiculous. Everything centred on how it effected him. He finds it almost impossible to see anything from another person's perspective.

He would go absolutely mad if I made mistakes. Small bumps in the car, something I was using broke (not that I broke it), would constantly refer to debt I'd had when we met for the reason we didn't have stuff. Essentially everything was always my fault.

Would coerce me into sex, constantly keep trying it on, badgering me until I would just do it to make him stop.

But he isn't that man now, as mad as that sounds.

OP’s posts: |
category12 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:01:17

He is, though.

BreathlessCommotion Sat 26-Sep-20 20:03:30

WellQualifiedToRepresentTheLBC

If he's abused you in the past i'm not sure you could feel safe enough to muster up the level of vulnerability needed to move on from an affair.

It's that simple isn't it?

What's keeping you in the marriage? Practically speaking, as well as emotionally?

Practically, the upheaval for the dc. One has ASD and the other has had a really tough time, a lot die to the behaviour of sibling.

The house, he would fight me for it (I could afford to buy him out) and I want to stay somewhere the dc feel safe, near friends and school.

The fact that the dc with ASD can be really demanding and mostly we are a team on it. I'm not sure I can deal with all that on my own.

Emotionally, I don't want to break his heart. I don't want everyone to know I've failed. I don't want to break the dc hearts, even if they are OK in the end

Because sometimes it's good. It's fine. And what if its worse when I leave? What if its harder and lonelier?

OP’s posts: |
WellQualifiedToRepresentTheLBC Sat 26-Sep-20 20:06:53

Oh love. He's raped you.

Gosh. I really want you to leave him. I want you to have a chance to live with a man who would never do that to you. Who has never done that to you.

widespreadpanic Sat 26-Sep-20 20:43:20

“ When dc2 was 6 months old I broke my foot. He refused to do any night feeds (bottle fed) and I had to manage by scooting across chairs to the cot and lift her back”

For this alone I would’ve left him. I could never ever forget this.

Furthermore you got married quickly, had a first kid quickly, so you were probably caught up in a whirlwind of emotions. But now a few years later the dust has settled and he’s a jerk and you realize that you’re just not compatible. I think for the sake of your dcs and yourself you should buy him out of the house and be done with him.

UserABCDE12345 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:46:02

Honestly OP, I could have written a lot of this a few years ago. I knew if we didn't have children I wouldn't be there, I had the ick, wasn't interested in sex with him but it wasn't bad enough to leave etc. Coupled with feelings of 'oh it's ok, I can live with it' to 'I'm so unhappy' and the constant up and down of that.

Ultimately it never went away and just made me more and more unhappy. I also knew my feelings towards him wouldn't change. Whilst I didn't dislike him, I didn't love him and wasn't attracted to him either. It was ruining my MH. We were like brother and sister or housemates. I read on here about how children will grow up into the same relationship they were modelled and that scared me a lot.

In the end I decided I couldn't do this for the rest of my life and my DCs deserved to grow up in a house that was happy and not with a mum that was grumpy and irritable all the time.

It was the best thing I ever did and I've never regretted it at all. My DCs adapted quickly and I've never been happier.

Don't let your 1 life pass you by. You only get this 1 life and you deserve to be happy too. Kids are resiliant and as long as the parents can be amicable and put the kids first, they can come through it ok. They will pick up on your unhappiness and that will grow as time goes on. The fact you already had 1 exit affair means you are primed for another (which I will not berate you on and they are extremely common). I always feel they are a sign that someone is in the wrong relationship.

category12 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:53:00

The things you describe in your marriage have been so minimised in your opening post, it's scary. sad

It's no wonder you don't really feel like sex with him, when he has been abusive sexually towards you.

You thinking you should be able to erase that past because he's now acting decently, is very unrealistic. And acting is the operative word - you don't really believe in him, you said yourself that you "get the feeling that dh does a lot of stuff now in order to keep me,rather than it being how you treat someone."

EarthSight Sun 27-Sep-20 11:31:34

Sounds to me like you are already housemates co-parenting. The intimacy is clearly gone and you are able to function mostly as friends with extra hugs.

BreathlessCommotion Sun 27-Sep-20 12:43:41

EarthSight

Sounds to me like you are already housemates co-parenting. The intimacy is clearly gone and you are able to function mostly as friends with extra hugs.

For me definitely, but not for him. I really wish he could get to the same place so we could split without heartbreak.

We've just been for a long dog walk and chatted and it was nice. I don't hate him, he's not an awful person.

But then being a single parent to a child with SEND seems so hard. Mostly I'm angry at myself for not leaving years ago, when the kids were younger and he was actually being an arse hole.

OP’s posts: |
WakingUp55643 Mon 28-Sep-20 14:31:18

I too could have written this post. I feel so stuck, so very stuck. If it wasn't for dc, I would be gone. Me and dh are nothing but friends, and not even really that. He knows how unhappy I am, but is burying his head in the sand, and just says things he thinks I want to hear - just polite small talk, which makes me scream on the inside. I need intimacy from a proper partner, and I don't want that from him and never will again. It's obvious that the best thing would be to end things and show my kids that relationships should not be this way. I don't want them growing up thinking dads lie on the sofa watching telly while mams do most of the work, keeping out of the way to avoid spending time together. I don't want to leave my home and move the kids from their home, but considering DH would never want to leave, and 'accepts' the life we have, I don't know what to do. But I'm too young to carry on like this for the rest of my life, when I could be loved and have all the joys that brings. I don't want to throw that chance away. Hope you can find a way, OP x

BreathlessCommotion Sat 03-Oct-20 20:20:35

I keep thinking that if I told him about the affair that would end things pretty quickly. He would probably turn nasty, he's been cheated on in the past.

Then it would always be my fault that it ended. I suppose that doesn't matter really. Would the dc always hate me for cheating and breaking up the family? Dh would definitely tell them. He will tell everyone.

OP’s posts: |
Aquamarine1029 Sat 03-Oct-20 20:24:23

Being this unhappy is more than enough of a reason to leave him.

babbi Sat 03-Oct-20 20:33:11

Don’t tell him about the affair .
That’s not really important and will just shift his focus away from the real problems.

The issue is you are very unhappy with him and you are correct you are too young for no decent sex / passion in your life .

Good luck with whatever you decide to do ... being a single parent is difficult at times but not impossible.

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