Long term marriage problems

(52 Posts)
itssuchamess Mon 03-May-21 11:21:02

Not sure where to start but need some outside views and also just somewhere to write down what’s going on. My marriage has not been good for a while. Just over a year ago, when DS3 was 4 months old, my DH started telling me he was feeling neglected, that I wasn’t showing him any affection and he was worried he would might do something stupid (his words) and enjoy the attention off someone else. I was surprised at this, also a bit annoyed because I was just at the point where I felt I was getting into a routine with three kids and things could get back to normal, it was like he got in there first before I could do something about it. 

We had many arguments about this over the next few months because I wasn’t doing enough to change the situation, lots more things like I put the kids first, wasn’t taking care of my appearance, no sex/not enough sex/boring sex. This was well into lockdown and I explained over and over how I felt overwhelmed and cut off from real life, no time to myself etc. I promised to make changes, asked him to be patient etc. The arguments were happening around every 4 weeks then less time would go by before the next one and now we are at the point where he brings this up at least once a week and I can’t take it any more. 

He has had lots of health issues and a few operations over the last 12 months and I apparently didn’t support him well enough emotionally (wasn’t able to visit/take home to hospital because of COVID and had no one to look after the kids).

He has started having massive panic attacks when we argue. I get upset quickly when he starts a discussion because I know what is coming, I am so worn down by all the negative things he’s said and the way he dismisses any explanation I give for the the way things are. But me crying just makes him angry and he gets so wound up that it leads to a panic attack, it’s awful and I have to try and calm him down then afterwards I just go along with everything he says because I’m scared of it happening again.

I’ve asked him not to keep bringing up the way he felt and my mistakes (no affection etc) because we can’t move on if he can’t let it go. I have apologised for that many times but he won’t accept it because he doesn’t think I really mean it. 
I admit I’ve found it hard to be affectionate since this all started because of the way he acts and the nasty things he says when we argue. I can’t just switch off and forget it all. He says he won’t stop bringing it up because I need to understand it’s my fault our relationship is broken and I need to fix it. 

After another huge row this morning he packed a bag and said he is leaving. I’ve killed our marriage and I’ve ruined his life and health. 

I’m absolutely broken. I know I’m not some awful mean person who would intentionally make him feel this way or not want to save our marriage. I can’t believe I have made him feel this way but just can’t take anymore. When things are good they are so good, but this has been hell the last few months. I love him but right now I don’t feel anything, I’m just numb. He’s worn me down and I just stood there and let him go. 
There’s so much more but this is long enough. I don’t know what to do.

OP’s posts: |
MrsMaizel Mon 03-May-21 11:34:24

He is blaming everything on you . I've been there with my ex H and there is nothing you can do to satisfy someone like this - you indulge them and try to appease them: doesn't work . You ignore it; doesn't work . You live on eggshells and with dread in your stomach the whole time. It is in their mind and he is looking for factors that prove he is right to want out of this marriage . I'm afraid that that is what it is and he has just been working up to this . Be glad he has gone . Currently you are scared of a future without him but honestly you will be so much better off .

iloveautumn3 Mon 03-May-21 11:34:59

If it was me I wouldn't try to stop him going enjoy the peace and relax. Take some time to decide if you really want to be with him. Don't be stuck in a relationship that doesn't make you happy. X

wombatgoeswild Mon 03-May-21 11:38:01

He's playing you.

Step off the merry-go-round. Observe without all the drama.

Theredjellybean Mon 03-May-21 11:40:54

Good god... I'd have packed his bag for him.
What an absolute twat
You had a four month old baby ffs...
And two others
And he wants attention... What would happen if you stood up for yourself and told him he didn't contribute to family life enough, that you would like more attention, support, love, care, intimacy from him.. That he broke this not you.
Come on op... Surely you can see that you need to tell him that this is two way thing.

emmylousings Mon 03-May-21 11:44:52

His demands and expectations are unreasonable given you have 3 DCs. I don't see how he ever thought moaning about boring sex / your appearance was going to help. It sounds like he wants to put the responsibility for everything on you and not take any himself. Even more out of order considering the additional strain of lockdown. Take this time to try to calm down, get some space and perspective. Talk to anyone IRL you can, to help think about his behaviour and your options. It's almost certainly not as simple as 'you have done this to him'. Good luck.

madroid Mon 03-May-21 11:47:06

To me this sounds like he's emotionally abusive and the best thing that could happen is that he leaves.

I suspect you will feel huge relief that there's no more unmeetable demands coming every week from him. Bliss.

Let him go. You couldn't have solved his problems. That would have taken him to see how he has contributed to them too. And this type is all about what's in it for him.

ClawedButler Mon 03-May-21 11:49:07

I'd have helped this man baby pack his bags, the selfish tantruming overgrown toddler. He's worried he might accidentally sleep with someone else because you're struggling to hold a family and home and self and marriage together by yourself?? He's told you how much you matter to him right there.

God I'm fuming on your behalf. Look what he's done to you - blamed you for him being a shite and YOU'RE apologising. He's done a real number on your head. You are better off without this gaslighting useless nobhead.

FourTurnings Mon 03-May-21 11:50:17

What an absolute pig of a man. Your life would improve immeasurably if he leaves and you can enjoy your lovely kids.

Sunnyday321 Mon 03-May-21 11:53:54

I'm sorry to ask this but is there any way he might have already met someone ?
It strikes me that he could be saying / acting this out to make you look like the villain and he was forced to leave .

Ukholidaysaregreat Mon 03-May-21 11:55:14

He is putting everything on you. Even the panic attacks when arguing mean you have to start looking after him mid argument. You have 3 young children to look after and he sounds awful. Look after yourself first. Think about what you want going forwards. Good Luck.

midlifecrash Mon 03-May-21 11:56:13

I think it's over, he doesn't understand sex or relationships. No situation was ever resolved by saying "we don't have enough sex. Give me some!" doesn't work like that. And saying about a relationship between 2 people "you broke it you fix it" is so childish and manipulative. It's not a fucking toaster.

TheHoneyBadger Mon 03-May-21 11:59:28

Bless you this is awful. You must be exhausted.

itssuchamess Mon 03-May-21 12:00:07

@MrsMaizel I think you've hit the nail on the head here...it's exactly how I feel.
I know it's not all my fault but he's made me feel like it is with the constant discussions and not letting the subject go.

@Theredjellybean I did try that once...didn't go down well. He told me not to try and put this on him, he is the one trying to save the relationship and I should be grateful he said something

OP’s posts: |
Dery Mon 03-May-21 12:00:44

“I'd have helped this man baby pack his bags, the selfish tantruming overgrown toddler. He's worried he might accidentally sleep with someone else because you're struggling to hold a family and home and self and marriage together by yourself?? He's told you how much you matter to him right there.

God I'm fuming on your behalf. Look what he's done to you - blamed you for him being a shite and YOU'RE apologising. He's done a real number on your head. You are better off without this gaslighting useless nobhead.”

This with bells on, OP. He sounds like a selfish pig. You’ll be far better off without him.

Peegreenlie12 Mon 03-May-21 12:02:05

I suspect that the panic attacks during arguments are fake and he does it to control you, and make you comply by not arguing with him.

The comment he said about potentially going off with someone else/having his needs met elsewhere. I suspect he has someone in mind, or is having an affair.

He's blaming you for everything, so when he leaves, it's because he was pushed to leave because of X, and that's all your fault, and he couldn't handle it anymore, you never tried hard enough to fix things. Blah, it's all nonsense, to justify his mindset of leaving the marriage.

Well... What has he done to help you? Make you feel loved and supported? It's his family, his children, his marriage....what the hell has he done?

Don't do the pick me dance, (even if there isn't any other person involved) of trying to bend over backwards to fulfill and love him.

Dery Mon 03-May-21 12:03:16

But he isn’t trying to save the relationship. He’s just demanding more of you. That’s not trying to save the relationship. I think he’s got his eye on someone else but doesn’t want to face how shitty that makes him look so he’s putting it on you. What real life support do you have, OP?

itssuchamess Mon 03-May-21 12:05:21

Sorry there are lots more replies I didn't see yet. Thank you all, it's actually really helpful.

@Sunnyday321 I think there must have been someone when he first brought this up. I'm pretty sure nothing has happened, only because he keeps saying how he doesn't want to be one of those men that has an affair (sees it as a weakness I think) and how I should be grateful he told me this before something happened.
Sorry someone else said something about this above which was actually also my first thought. I should be grateful you haven't cheated on me??

I'm a nervous wreck and my poor kids are sat in front of the tv while I try and calm myself down

OP’s posts: |
itssuchamess Mon 03-May-21 12:09:44

The panic attacks are very real. It's frightening and I feel terrible for him when it happens. He hates it and loss of control.

@Dery no support IRL to be honest, parents are overseas and apart from one friend unfortunately the rest of them have disappointed me hugely over the last 12 months (that's also not helped of course).

OP’s posts: |
Worriedly2 Mon 03-May-21 12:12:50

I don't see what you've done wrong to be blamed for ruining his life. It doesn't sound like he was a supportive partner which makes it hard for you to have time to make an effort for yourself.

Please don't let him make you feel like you've done wrong. He's a man child who has been playing you for the last year. It doesn't sound like he's stopped and asked himself what he could've done to make your life easier while expecting you to provide him with a fulfilling existence.

It sounds like it'll be a big change but probably the best thing that could happen in the long run

Theredjellybean Mon 03-May-21 12:28:10

I think he is setting you up.
He is/will have other woman.. But he can say you drove him to it, it wasn't his fault, he tried to tell you what was lacking and you "didn't try"
He is painting the picture of him as the poor victim.

So.... Reframe it... You are mother of three young children, one a new baby, you ran household during lockdown, cared for, fed, home schooled, and during this your dh picked fights. Caused argument, made you feel worthless, unloved, unattractive.
He didn't try to help you improve your relationship, physical appearance, self estemm.
Then he walked out on three tiny children and their mother.

Mmmm.... I know where my sympathies lie.
Do you have family or friends nearby? So get on phone and tell them... He has left you and children. Don't go into whys or where fors... If asked why say you don't know but he said he is thinking about having an affair.
Time to turn the tables on him and his victim painting behaviour.
No one half decent is going to see him as anything less than despicable
And for the love of God do not beg, cry, do the pick me dance.
I'd be texting him and saying... OK.. You want to leave, fine, so let's discuss your time with dc... And make sure he has them... You need a rest from this cockwomble.

Imagine now... Kids in bed, house tidied up, you can have long bath, pj's on, crap on telly or just go to bed... No one moaning, no one pestering you for sex, no one telling you how crap you are.... Bliss

Ihatesalad Mon 03-May-21 12:28:19

Op, you are not to blame in anyway and please don’t go around apologising to him. I think this is a bloke who suddenly decided he didnt much like marriage and responsibilities and has since built up a scenario in his head to make you look bad— basically so it justifies him leaving and he doesn’t look like a piece of crap

Weirdfan Mon 03-May-21 12:34:00

It seems to be a very male thing (ime at least) this absolute refusal to take any responsibility for problems in a relationship, and 'poor me, I'm not getting enough attention' is a common theme too, it's deeply unattractive. I hope you can see how completely he has failed you OP, as partners and co-parents you're meant to be a team, take on the struggles and lack of time for each other together and instead he has put you on opposing sides. I can't tell you what to do next but you definitely need to stop accepting all the blame and believing him when he says it's all your fault.

KittyKattyKate Mon 03-May-21 12:39:13

He has checked out of the marriage a long time ago, OP. His biggest problem was to try and make it look ‘right’ that he left a woman with three small kids.

It’s time to get angry and cut this loser from your life. Do not let him crawl back and do not beg him to forgive you. You have done absolutely nothing wrong.

It’s OK for the kids to watch telly. Heck, they can have ice cream for dinner tonight, and more telly tomorrow. Allow yourself a second to catch your breath here.

TheHoneyBadger Mon 03-May-21 13:04:15

It’s sad to think of so many women on their own feeling guilty and being harassed because they don’t feel like loads of sex when stuck looking after kids and a new baby and faced with an entitled prick causing fights over how much attention they want.

Honestly. It feels like it’s just them when they’re in it but there will be hundreds of thousands of women being put through this.

It’s a wonder so many relationships actually survive

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