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Devastated, DH wants to separate

(165 Posts)
Randomness12 Mon 26-Oct-20 00:30:50

Hi, I’m not sure what I want or need from this post but I feel like I need to get my feelings out.

After a minor disagreement today, my DH has decided he thinks he wants to leave. We’ve been together almost 20 years and have 1 DD3.

I am so, so upset.

We have been going through a bit of a rough patch this year with Covid, job uncertainly and long hours, extra pressure plus home renovations and although I have sometimes felt it may be better so separate I always change my mind and have not said it to him. I love him.

He was going to leave tonight but I convinced him to stay but I’m so worried he will leave and then it feels too final?

He has suggested marriage counselling which I’ve asked for before and he’s always refused. I’ve messaged one we can hopefully see someone soon.

I don’t even know how to begin to feel about this. I feel sick. We are in the same bed (due to renovations) I asked for a cuddle and cried then he rolled over. He’s fast asleep and now I’ve stopped crying I cannot sleep so I’m laying here listening to him sleep and wondering how he can?

I will say I do trust him, he does not have the opportunity to cheat I think he’s just reached the end of his tether and (I’m hoping) it’s stress taking over rather than his real feelings?

This feels like it might be it. I don’t know what to do.

OP’s posts: |
Randomness12 Mon 26-Oct-20 00:33:24

I feel like I should say. He’s a good man, and a great dad. I love him.

We both work full time in demanding roles and certainly don’t take enough time for each other and take each other for granted.

How can I fix this? Any advice? Is marriage counselling ever successful?

OP’s posts: |
BlueThistles Mon 26-Oct-20 00:37:00

Im sorry to read this.. your distress is clear.. I believe He's calm and can sleep because right now He's making all the decision's.. whether he stays or leaves is his choice. Use this 'your awake' time to decide what you want OP.. 🌺

OldWomanSaysThis Mon 26-Oct-20 00:39:17

Aw, I'm sorry, OP. That is heartbreaking. I keep hearing separations and divorces have gone way up during the pandemic.

If the disagreement was minor I'm guessing he has been thinking this for awhile.

I have no advice. I've never been married. I just wanted to say, I hear you. Hang in there.

Cauterize Mon 26-Oct-20 00:41:18

Sorry to hear this OP. I don't think he's been at all fair by telling you he wants to leave, then vaguely mentioning marriage counselling and then falling asleep on you!

I appreciate you've had a tough year, with the Covid situation and work, but so have many other people and their marriages haven't ended. I'm just wondering if there is more to this?

I'm also sorry to say that I also wouldn't write cheating off completely either...... I've seen it so many times on here in similar circumstances.

I think marriage counselling could be really useful but only if you're absolutely 100% sure there has been no infidelity and also that he actually intends to work at the marriage. I'm not sure I would see the point in counselling if he was planning to leave anyway?

I think you need to have a calm discussion tomorrow. Try and get to the bottom of why he has come to this decision

Anordinarymum Mon 26-Oct-20 00:42:27

OP what is the issue between you causing him to reach the end of his tether?

MJMG2015 Mon 26-Oct-20 00:42:50

(((Hug)))

He’s fast asleep and now I’ve stopped crying I cannot sleep so I’m laying here listening to him sleep and wondering how he can?

That takes me right back...it's such a horrible feeling.

Was the argument today something you frequently argue/bicker about?

When was it that he suggested counselling?

If he left, where would he go?

I know the overwhelming urge is to hold tight and ask them not to leave, but honestly it's best to just let him leave if that's what he wants. If what you have can be fixed, it will be, no matter where he's staying and if it can't be, him staying won't change that. Being strong and saying 'OK, this isn't what I want. I love you and I want us to work through this, but it takes two & you have to want it too. I'll speak to you in a couple of days to arrange for you to see DD' will do you far more good.

No matter what, you WILL get through this, you WILL be ok x

Enough4me Mon 26-Oct-20 00:45:28

Why is the choice his, does he know that you are desperate to continue however he behaves?

Enough4me Mon 26-Oct-20 00:47:10

That probably sounded harsher than I meant, but your life is there for your choices too. Constantly worrying about being left is not fair on you.

ConquestEmpireHungerPlague Mon 26-Oct-20 01:11:12

This sounds very hard for you, particularly that he's dropped this bombshell like it's a fait accompli then gone to sleep, when you probably want to talk, ask questions, cry and get some sense of wtf is going on in his head. His messaging is quite mixed, I think. On the one hand, he seems to have been half way out of the door with his plan to leave at once, but then on the other, he's open to the idea of counselling. It also seems odd that he's up for counselling when he's never been before. Is he fobbing you off, do you think? If you can try to still your racing thoughts for a minute, how much of a surprise is this? How serious do you think he is? I hear that you think infidelity is unlikely, but in my experience when the first whiff of trouble you get is a declared intent to leave, it's quite common for there to be someone else providing that impetus. It's a generalisation, but very few men imo go straight from being happy enough to actually being ready to leave without either an obvious period of intense difficulty in the marriage first or an OW pulling the strings. Are there warning signs of impending trouble you've missed?

I'm very sorry for your troubles. I hope you can get some sleep and feel some peace.

allthewaterinthetap Mon 26-Oct-20 01:18:10

Don't forget that he could be 'meeting' people online. Definitely I would not rule out cheating.

Randomness12 Mon 26-Oct-20 01:23:53

Thank you everyone, I’m still awake and searching past threads about marriage counselling and whether they work.

To try and answer a few questions, it’s been a rough year. He is self employed and during covid was at home with our daughter while I work for the NHS (not frontline) I was put into another role, with long hours and lots of responsibility and has said himself he did not enjoy being on childcare duty all day, every day. When I could be at home, I was.

We have had a few arguments over the past year where he has said he was going to go for a walk, or go out but never leave.

When DD was about 7 months old we did once come to the point of discussions separating but we both decided it wasn’t what we wanted.

I think the end of his tether is a stress thing? In the past year he has changed the way he works to having lots of smaller customers rather than 2 or 3 bigger ones which mean more paperwork, more evenings doing quotes and on the phone etc. He’s recently taken on his first employee and because of his trade, he insists on doing the bulk of the renovations himself so he’s working evenings and weekends too.

When I ask him to slow down or suggest we pay someone to do it to take the pressure off he says I’m ungrateful?

We talked a bit before bed, and I get he’s under pressure. But we both are? I already do the vast majority of housework/life admin and 95% of childcare alongside my job to support him but because I’m not falling over myself to be grateful for what he has done with the renovations he says he’s unappreciated.

I have said thank you, I’ve run him baths at the end of the day, taken him lunch and coffee etc. I’m shattered too. While he is doing all this extra work evenings and weekends it is me who looks after DD, keeps her out of the way and the dog.

I feel like what I do is never enough?

OP’s posts: |
Randomness12 Mon 26-Oct-20 01:29:17

He honestly doesn’t have the time to cheat, I see what he’s doing online as I help with a lot of his work in the evenings to try and take the pressure off.

I feel like he wants an easy life, but also wants to be a great dad, walk the dog and run a business. Those things aren’t really compatible.

It’s me that compromises everything, if he’s running late and it’s his pickup I cancel what I’m doing to cover. I miss appointments, and work and I can’t even tell you the last time I had the opportunity to exercise as there is always something he has to do which is work related and more important.

I don’t mind (I do sometimes) being at the back of the queue while all of this is so new and his business is getting off the ground but I do mind that he says I’m ungrateful and don’t appreciate him enough or that I’m lazy?!

OP’s posts: |
TryTheVeal Mon 26-Oct-20 01:44:27

I hope posters don't pile on with LTB. This doesn't sound like a terrible relationship from what you have posted. Just that you're both under a lot of stress.

You're both angry and upset tonight. I can understand why you wanted a cuddle and that he couldn't provide it. Different people have different ways of dealing with conflict. You need reassurance. He needs space.

I think it's encouraging that he has suggested to see a councillor if he has previously been resistant. It's a sign that he has acknowledged how bad things are but that he does want to fix it. Hold him to that.

I'm posting (and have namechanged) because DP and I have very different approaches to resolving conflict and I don't want to give you false hope, but at the same time, I wanted you to know this needn't be catastrophic if you're both good people and you both love each other.

Anordinarymum Mon 26-Oct-20 01:51:26

Randomness12

He honestly doesn’t have the time to cheat, I see what he’s doing online as I help with a lot of his work in the evenings to try and take the pressure off.

I feel like he wants an easy life, but also wants to be a great dad, walk the dog and run a business. Those things aren’t really compatible.

It’s me that compromises everything, if he’s running late and it’s his pickup I cancel what I’m doing to cover. I miss appointments, and work and I can’t even tell you the last time I had the opportunity to exercise as there is always something he has to do which is work related and more important.

I don’t mind (I do sometimes) being at the back of the queue while all of this is so new and his business is getting off the ground but I do mind that he says I’m ungrateful and don’t appreciate him enough or that I’m lazy?!

Maybe he is like he is because every time something goes wrong you jump in to help. Try not to be so accomodating next time since neither of you seem to be appreciating you here.

Show him that you matter and you are not just someone to be used.

HannaYeah Mon 26-Oct-20 01:51:33

I’m so sorry, that sounds so difficult. I think it’s a good sign that he’s interested in marriage counseling.

The things you are doing to show your gratitude would make me feel appreciated. Maybe ask him what would make him feel more appreciated and explain that these are the things you are doing to show him how you feel. If it’s not what makes him feel good then it’s wasted effort, anyway. I know that sounds a bit unnecessary but if you want things to get better you have to know what he’s really thinking and feeling.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 26-Oct-20 03:02:40

He is self employed and during covid was at home with our daughter while I work for the NHS (not frontline) I was put into another role, with long hours and lots of responsibility and has said himself he did not enjoy being on childcare duty all day, every day.

Exactly what I thought and this is where any sympathy I might have had for him ends. He doesn't like having to care for his own child? The poor fucking baby! My heart just bleeds for him. hmm

I say it's time for you to get angry. You are jumping through hoops like a bloody circus monkey, dealing with the absolute lion's share of everything, and the only thing he is willing to so is worry about his job, nothing more. To top it off, he expects you to shower him with gratitude and appreciation. Where's his appreciation for you?

I wouldn't waste another single tear on this selfish prick. If he wants to pack his bags and fuck off, let him.

billy1966 Mon 26-Oct-20 03:27:41

OP,

He sounds like a right selfish man who doesn't like minding his child and has made you his emotional punching bag.

You sound as if you are run ragged with him.

Does he ever jump in to help you? Or is that your role.

I think you need to have a good hard look at him.

He sounds very selfish and juvenile and very wrapped up in himself.

You need to protect yourself because he certainly doesn't have your back.

flowers

Jenasaurus Mon 26-Oct-20 03:28:43

Ive been where you are OP and sympathise with you.

Whatever the outcome you will get through it. The one thing that stands out is you both at different times have thought this isnt working and you want to call it a day. You love him and I can see this is hard, and COVID and all the stress that goes with it hasnt helped the situation. Book the counselling and see where that takes you. x

mathanxiety Mon 26-Oct-20 03:44:07

He doesn't sound like a great father at all, and that makes him a poor partner too.

He clearly resents doing what he considers 'women's work' while you are doing your paid job. You are trying to perform the role of Victorian wifey to soothe his ruffled feathers with the baths and making lunches and keeping DD out of the way while he does house renovations.

My guess is he won't hire someone to get the renovations finished and insists on doing them himself in order to make himself feel more manly and keep you tied up with childcare - he has an idea of roles that is hierarchical. Manly roles include DIY and are superior to childcare, which is a suitable role for mere women.

All that whining about lack of appreciation is just putting you on the back foot, accusing you of contributing to the breakdown of the relationship. He knows he is hiding from parenting and his only defense is offense.

You are jumping through hoops like a bloody circus monkey, dealing with the absolute lion's share of everything, and the only thing he is willing to so is worry about his job, nothing more. To top it off, he expects you to shower him with gratitude and appreciation. Where's his appreciation for you?

THIS ^^

mathanxiety Mon 26-Oct-20 03:45:59

My advice would be to say you hope he won't let the door hit him on the way out...

GalaxyCookieCrumble Mon 26-Oct-20 04:10:47

Call his bluff and pack his bag for him, let him leave and take the time to work on yourself.

Randomness12 Mon 26-Oct-20 04:12:17

Thank you for your replies, I am so grateful to you all for taking the time.

I am taking this all in. I do think there are sometimes issues with him seeing what I do as less important than what he does but when I spell it out he does understand. He buys me flowers, and brings home my favourite wine or chocolate.

Although he really is a great father, I think there would be lots of parents (not just dads) out there who may have struggled with parenting during lockdown. Going from a couple of hours each end of the day around nursery with another parent to being in sole charge 12 hours a day with nowhere to go and not being able to see anyone wouldn’t have been easy, especially for months on end. I know it was difficult and DD was loved and cared for during that time but he did struggle with it and truth be told, if roles had been reversed I think I would have too some days. Especially with the uncertainty around his own work and income on top.

I managed to get a little sleep but am awake again now. He’s still asleep.

I will pursue the marriage counselling today. I really do love him and I hope this can be salvaged. He hasn’t said he doesn’t love me anymore, but did say he didn’t know how he felt. That could be the stress too couldn’t it?

Perhaps he’d benefit from some counselling himself too.

I’m certainly not ready to give up after everything we have been through together.

OP’s posts: |
GalaxyCookieCrumble Mon 26-Oct-20 04:15:18

@Aquamarine1029 well said, absolutely nailed it

hockeysticks89 Mon 26-Oct-20 04:20:03

Make it clear to him that he cannot escape fatherly duties, in fact these will increase if he chooses to leave you

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