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Feel like my husband ‘tolerates’ me...

(17 Posts)
Thisorthatwhoknows Mon 16-Nov-20 09:40:56

We’ve been married 8 years and together 12 years but known each other 18 years.

I’m considering whether our marriage is worth sticking out. We have 2 DP aged 7y & 5y. My DH had a very traumatic experience 5 years ago and he’s never been the same since. I’ve tried everything to help him but I seem to be the one suffering. There is no emotional or physical connection anymore. He’s not proud of my achievements. Instead I feel tolerated. If I don’t do something to be perceived to be how he would do it then it’s wrong. We don’t argue that often but when we do he is extremely hurtful then pretends like nothing has happened the next day, leaving me feel an emotional wreck. He also drinks heavily (I think as a coping mechanism) but refuses to address it.

He earns all the money so leaving would be hard. The kids adore him and he would blame me so that could be damaging on my relationship with the children.

What do I do? We tried marriage counselling a few years ago. He won’t get counselling for dealing with the trauma he faced so I feel like my options to improve the situation are limited.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 16-Nov-20 09:57:53

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

What do you want to teach your children and what are they learning about relationships here?. This house is not the sanctuary it should be for you, or for that matter them. Would you want this sort of relationship potentially for them as adults, currently you are showing them that this is still acceptable to you on some level. If you are merely being tolerated by your H, they will pick up on this and all the other unspoken vibes.

I would also think that your children do not adore him at all, more like live in fear of him and acting quiet and subserviant around him too so as to try to not set him off. He remains volatile and will continue to be so going forward. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to help him and he does not really want your help or support. You cannot ever act as a rescuer or saviour in a relationship; neither approach works. You cannot afford to let your own self and your kids be dragged down with him because of his outright refusal to seek help for his trauma. He will remain drinking heavily and blame you for it all, this is no life for them either.

Do you have full access to money or does he dole it out grudgingly to you?. It matters not that he earns all the money; this is a joint asset and if he is drinking heavily too (he is as you surmise self medicating) then that is also something you will all pick up on. They will see all the empties in the recycling bin, they will pick up on it all.

You are married to this man and have rights in law; exercise those fully now. At the very least I would seek legal advice re your options on divorce. You do not have to act on this immediately but knowledge is power.

HopkinsG Mon 16-Nov-20 10:26:44

Can you expand on the traumatic experience he endured or would you rather not mention it? It can take time to heal from instances of trauma, but of course, one must be willing to seek help.

Thisorthatwhoknows Mon 16-Nov-20 13:31:17

Thank you. I’ve started exploring my financial options and I can get some help so I can support myself and the children. So the chance to leave is at least real now.

The trauma was horrific and left him with long term health issues but he’s never sought emotional support for it, only medical. He nearly died too so I know he has been through a lot.

I spoke to him this morning. We had a very frank conversation. He admitted to feeling neutral or resentful towards me but doesn’t want our family to split up. I said that’s not good enough for me. More promises to address the drinking but I’m yet to see any change on that front over the years.

OP’s posts: |
Yohoheaveho Mon 16-Nov-20 13:34:21

He earns all the money so leaving would be hard. The kids adore him and he would blame me so that could be damaging on my relationship with the children
He has deliberately engineered things such that he has all the power ....he has the financial power and the children are loyal to him
Think about come he can be good enough to them that they adore him but he can't be arsed to be nice to you?

Yohoheaveho Mon 16-Nov-20 13:36:12

but doesn't want our family to split up
He doesn't want to lose his whipping boy you
he makes himself feel better by making you feel worse, if you were no longer available he'd have to find some other way of dealing with his issues

FippertyGibbett Mon 16-Nov-20 13:39:23

If he isn’t going to change/get better then you really are better leaving.
You deserve better, and your kids deserve to grow up not seeing their role model drinking so much.
You either decide that you are sticking with it and that this will be how you live for the rest of your life, or jump ship.
Think about how you want to be living in 5, 10, 20 years time.

FippertyGibbett Mon 16-Nov-20 13:40:50

And my DH says that he will stop/ cut down drinking and change/try harder every time we have that conversation. He doesn’t.

FippertyGibbett Mon 16-Nov-20 13:41:37

Are you intimate, do you feel loved/wanted, appreciated ?

Yohoheaveho Mon 16-Nov-20 13:47:07

If he continues to use alcohol for quick and easy anaesthetic rather than doing the hard work of examining and working through his trauma then it is probably better to cut your losses now if he loses himself to drink he will only drag you all down with him ☹️

Thisorthatwhoknows Mon 16-Nov-20 13:47:35


Are you intimate, do you feel loved/wanted, appreciated ?

No! None of the above.

OP’s posts: |
Thisorthatwhoknows Mon 16-Nov-20 13:48:36

I don’t know how to leave. I mean I want him to go so the children can stay in their home whilst we sort the logistics but I don’t think he will. I tried to get him to leave before and he didn’t.

OP’s posts: |
Yohoheaveho Mon 16-Nov-20 13:50:19

I would stop bothering to have Frank conversations with him, he's just doing this to buy time and shut you up
Instead start privately working on your escape plan, don't tip him off or he will start making moves to prevent you getting what you want

FippertyGibbett Mon 16-Nov-20 13:50:26

Have you spoken to a solicitor ?
You might have to share a house while it goes through . Do you have a spare bedroom that you can move to ?

Thisorthatwhoknows Mon 16-Nov-20 14:09:40

I haven’t but I’ll look into that. We are already in different rooms!

OP’s posts: |
FippertyGibbett Mon 16-Nov-20 14:42:55

You need to speak to a solicitor ASAP.
You can usually get a free first chat, but it helps to have all of your information ready.
They will tell you what you can expect to receive, which will help you in planning.

messy123 Mon 16-Nov-20 15:05:02

God...I could have written this OP (except I only have one child). I feel like I'm just some sort of 'vessel' to look after his child and keep his family happy. If I do something different to how he expects, its wrong.

I don't really have the answer, but you aren't alone flowers

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