I am so trapped

(441 Posts)
Cornfieldrainbows Thu 15-Jul-21 06:56:15

I want to leave DH but despite me being unhappy for 17 years my mum is pushing hard for me to stay because of the dc. And probably because she doesn’t want the shame of a divorced child.

She said I chose to have the dc, now it doesn’t matter if I’m happy or not. I’m really struggling. I wake in the morning feeling like I cannot breathe. My heart is racing. I’m not sleeping well, waking about 4am, and I’m not eating.
My mum keeps telling me how heartbroken the dc will be, that I will be poor, that I could lose them 50% of the time and they would hate that. That I will have no time nor money to do anything with them. That I will still be unhappy because my dc will be so unhappy.
Her answer? I wait another 13 years for dc2 to be 18. In 13 years I will be 50 and so worn down that I will have given up, if I make it that far which is debatable tbh.
We’d have to go and stay with my parents if I left DH so there’s no way of avoiding her. I hear what she’s saying and I suppose she is right. It is deeply selfish not to stay for the dc, who are happy, doing well at school and generally very settled.
I married DH partly because she wanted me to and I was young. Have I got to pay for that decision forever? It seems I have.
I cannot see a way forwards anymore. I just feel trapped. DH is slightly controlling and I am squashed, I am not who I was when we married. I was 20. He was 30. I feel I’ve changed so much and I feel this awful disconnect all the time. My mum says it’s because of covid but I felt it before that, although covid hasn’t helped.
DH isn’t a very involved father currently and never has been. All of the mental load falls on me and most of the practical stuff too. Currently he has them on his own one evening a week when I go out but only after I’ve got youngest dc to bed. Oldest dc is 11 and so not as demanding. He’s never willingly taken any of it on and he’s watched me struggle with things like the fact dc1 didn’t sleep through until he was 4 and he never once gave me a night off. It’s always ‘they settle better for you.’
He works hard, he has a good job, he does love me and the dc but I consistently feel like a thing on his checklist of what he needs for a ‘perfect’ life. I don’t feel like a person in my own right. He says the right things, for example I’ve taken a more demanding role at work with more hours and he did a lot of ‘ill support you whatever you want to do’ before I accepted. I started four months ago and in that four months he’s not practically helped me with anything. He’s not done a single school run, he’s not done anything in the house. I run my day around the children, working through lunch, rushing around, fetching them, coming back and doing another hour or so at work. Everything falls on me. I had a small crying breakdown about two months ago and he said he’d help me but nothing has changed although we now get take out or eat out once a week so I don’t have to cook.
I’m no longer attracted to him and so rarely have sex unless there’s no other option to. But it is rare. Two years and counting.
My mum says so what. If I left him I would be doing it all on my own anyway, plus the dc would be upset, plus I would be poor, she thinks it would all be worse and maybe she is right. I feel so trapped and it makes me feel like giving up. I just want to go to bed and never get back up again. I am already on antidepressants. I want to get back to a place where I feel like me again and I don’t know how to do that. I do know it hasn’t always been as awful as this with DH, I think since dc2 was born and I had PND it’s got much much worse. Mainly because he carried on totally as normal and I was barely functioning. Again he didn’t ever give me a lie in or get up at night when they were a baby. The PND hit me like a brick and I will admit since then I’ve never felt well, I’ve always felt a background level of anxiety. I can think of maybe two or three occasions since I had dc2 five years ago where I’ve not felt anxious. Unfortunately it arrived when she did, like an unwelcome additional child.

My mum thinks that’s why I don’t want to be with DH, that I’ve not recovered from the birth of dc2. I can’t imagine now ever being the person I was before I had her. I cannot imagine ever feeling optimistic or happy or even just less anxious. I get up in the mornings and wait to go back to bed. The best time of my life is when I am asleep. I just struggle through the days putting a brave face on it. I am incredibly lonely.

I love my dc so much. I don’t want to transfer this awful feeling to them. I worry that in breaking their family I will break them. I worry that my mum is right, that I am not capable of managing this. My mum never thinks I am capable of anything. When I went for this job she told me I wouldn’t cope, my children would suffer with me working more hours and I was putting my job in front of them. I spent four years as a sahp after dc2. I work my hours around them as best I can. I do everything I can to mitigate any cost to them - and yet DH just gets to do whatever he wants.

Sorry that was really long. I’m feeling desperate this morning.

OP’s posts: |
PersonaNonGarter Thu 15-Jul-21 07:01:17

Your mum is wrong and damaging.

Stop listening to her and start confiding in people who have better perspective.

Take better care of yourself than the people around you do. They don’t deserve you. flowers

Cornfieldrainbows Thu 15-Jul-21 07:03:40

I cannot see the wood for the trees.
I need some space from it all but I can’t get any.

My friends are all - leave! You’ve been unhappy forever! The dc would cope!

But they don’t know that either and it’s easy to say.
It doesn’t help that DH would be so unpleasant - there is no way he wouldn’t use the dc as a weapon.

There’s no good option. I just don’t want to do this anymore.

OP’s posts: |
Motnight Thu 15-Jul-21 07:03:56

This is your life Op, not your mum's. She doesn't sound as though she is a support to you at all, and what she is saying is wrong.

Others will be along with much better advice but please don't listen to your mum. Make a decision for you and your children

vampirethriller Thu 15-Jul-21 07:05:09

Your mother isn't living your life. You are, and you have to do what's best for you, not her. My parents stayed together for us and it was awful if I'm honest. They both ended up resenting us for it. Why would you have to stay with your parents?

Cutex507 Thu 15-Jul-21 07:06:41

Right OP breathe. There is a lot to unpick here. Clearly you're struggling with anxiety and managing that. You said you're on anti-depressants, have you had any counselling for this? I'm not surprised your anxiety is so bad with what sounds like a really controlling mother (as well as partner). You don't mention if you discussed leaving with your partner. Have you? This could be an opportunity for him to change. Do you specifically tell him to pull his weight, eg 'I'm doing the school run this day, you do it this day'.

I know when I was having problems with my DH, my DM was of the opinion that it wasn't the done thing in her day. He wasn't hitting me so I should stay. It was difficult to talk about leaving with her. DH and I did eventually work through our problems. It took him leaving for us both to work through our problems and yes he did change. So did I because I also started standing up for my own needs a lot more as well. I stopped stepping in to 'save the day' or 'help' DH.

Cornfieldrainbows Thu 15-Jul-21 07:07:24

Because I’d have to sort somewhere to rent. And I cannot do that whilst living here very easily, I’d have to get it ready and furnished. We’d need to move out and then find somewhere.
DH wouldn’t leave the house. It would have to be us that left.

OP’s posts: |


Foxhasbigsocks Thu 15-Jul-21 07:08:31

Do not stay where you are unhappy! It’s not up to your mum

DinosaurDiana Thu 15-Jul-21 07:08:53

You need to stop talking to your mother about this, and speak to a solicitor.

Ravenspeckingontheroof Thu 15-Jul-21 07:09:28

I’m sure there will be lots of support coming your way on here, but didn’t want to read and run.
Your mum sounds awful, and moving in with her if you left would be a bad idea.
Living miserably is draining.
Obviously when a home splits there is less money between 2 homes, but many people are happy with less; you will be entitled to some maintenance payments from your husband.
Your children will be fine so long as you can be amicable about the split.
Have you ever sat your husband down and told him how you are feeling and you will leave if he doesn’t step up?
Make an appointment to see a solicitor- many give a first appointment free, and see where you stand financially.
Sending flowers

Cornfieldrainbows Thu 15-Jul-21 07:11:32

He won’t. He moans the house is a mess but doesn’t do anything.

Yesterday my day started at 6.15. His at 8.30. We both worked - me until 4pm when I went to get h the dc and him until 5pm when he went to golf for second time this week.
When he got back (9pm) I’d made dinner for the dc but not cleared up and his was in the oven. I got dc2 to bed and must admit I then fell asleep on the bed next to her because I was so tired. I’ve come down this morning and all last night’s dishes and plated are still just on the side in the kitchen.

This is how it is.

OP’s posts: |
Cornfieldrainbows Thu 15-Jul-21 07:13:56

His mother does a lot of ‘men work so hard they need a break’ and calls it babysitting if he ever has the dc - which is really rare. Unless they are asleep.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 15-Jul-21 07:15:04

Stop with listening to your mother, her attitude is highly damaging and she certainly does not have your interests at heart. All she cares about is her own self and what other people may think of her. She is not married to this man and you know all too well what it’s like being married to him. It’s shit because he is abusive. It’s over because of the abuse he meets out.

Staying for the children is not a good idea at all and in your circumstances a particularly bad one. What do you want to teach them about relationships and what are they learning here?. Would you parrot the same crap as you have heard from your mother to your adult children if one of them came to you with this issue?. No you would not.

Your friends are right and unlike your mother they are not overinvested and controlling of you life.

I would urge you to use your friends here and plan your exit with due care. Get support too from Women’s Aid. Teach your children better lessons about relationships going forward. You are not as trapped here as you think you are.

Blessex Thu 15-Jul-21 07:17:43

Sending flowers. My DM was like this before I left my DH. It’s a different generation thing. She stayed for the kids and so should I. She has had a miserable marriage and there was no way I was doing the same. The kids will be fine. I am now remarried and so much happier. Kids are happy. ExDH has a new girlfriend. I remember that feeling of absolute panic being with my ex. Crushing panic. You sound dreadfully unhappy. You only have one life. flowers

Howshouldibehave Thu 15-Jul-21 07:17:49

We’d have to go and stay with my parents if I left DH so there’s no way of avoiding her

That can’t be your sole option?

KingdomScrolls Thu 15-Jul-21 07:19:34

Just leave them there, he sounds like a lazy entitled prick tbh, you work full time and he still expects you to do everything around the house and for the children? Have you ever put it to him as bluntly as that, at this stage you've got nothing to lose. I couldn't respect or be attracted to a man who treated me as domestic staff. You also don't want your children growing up thinking either this is the way to treat people or be treated in a relationship

KingdomScrolls Thu 15-Jul-21 07:20:24

*leave the plates there

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 15-Jul-21 07:20:40

Your mother and your husband are very much alike.

Where is your dad here, is he still in your life now? I ask only as you have never mentioned him.

Do also seek legal advice from a Solicitor. You are married to this man and so have rights in law, exercise those fully here. It may well be that you could remain in the marital home. I would also look at obtaining both non molestation and occupation orders against your husband as well.

DoingItMyself Thu 15-Jul-21 07:23:06

Morning! I had to get up, come downstairs and log in to answer your moving post.

1) You won't be with him when you're fifty. You can make that decision now, and even if you don't split immediately, you know freedom is on it's way.
2) You need to mentally 'divorce' from your mum as well as your dh. You're still taking her direction as if you were a small child. First, separate mentally, then gradually establish an adult relationship with her. It will take years, so don't worry. Your way is the right way, always.
3) Life as a single parent with no money is awful at times, I've done it, but we (dd and I) came through and so will you.
4) You know he'll be unpleasant so do all your research and planning, and be ready to go, before you tell him.
5) Therapy. Someone to talk to, no need to hold back, chance to work through your thoughts and feelings. Get yourself on a waiting list.

Your life can be much, much better than it is now.

Ravenspeckingontheroof Thu 15-Jul-21 07:24:11

As @KingdomScrolls says. LEAVE the plates. He is perfectly capable of washing them up or putting them in the dishwasher. Tell him. Start today.

AttaGirrrrl Thu 15-Jul-21 07:25:37

Why would you have to leave, then sort somewhere? Unless he’s abusive, it doesn’t need to be like that.

You tell him you want to separate. You ask if he will move out. If he won’t, you start looking for homes. You get all of that sorted before you move out. You definitely don’t need to move in with your awful sounding mum.

HighDudgeonAtBerks Thu 15-Jul-21 07:28:31

Do you own the house or rent? If you own then the decision about who gets the house won’t just be his. You can separate whilst still living together if you have to - until the divorce is finalised and you can then get an occupation order to stay in the house, or sell it to downsize and get a property for each of you. You need to speak to a solicitor as a priority to work out your rights and get the ball rolling.

Leave. Please leave. It’s a living nightmare being in an awful relationship. You will be modelling terribly relationship values to your children too. They aren’t benefiting from a miserable, anxious mum and a dad who does nothing for them.

Your mum is just plain wrong and foolish. Stop listening to her. This is your life and you only get one go at it. You are not protecting your children by staying, you’re guaranteeing them an unhealthy childhood if you stay.

I suspect all your mental health issues may lift if you left.

Tell him it’s over, stop doing any washing or cooking or cleaning for him, just do it for you and the kids. I suspect your lives will be a lot easier without him in it.

AttaGirrrrl Thu 15-Jul-21 07:29:15

I’ve just said the opposite to @DoingItMyself but I agree with her post too. Whether you tell him first or sort it secretly, it’s obvious that you do have to go, and that you definitely shouldn’t be going to your mum’s.

Fwiw, I separated from STBXH 18 months ago. I expected it to be awful. It was relatively straightforward. I was particularly worried about not being with the kids every night, but tbh, it’s been lovely to get some time to myself back.

Good luck flowers

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 Thu 15-Jul-21 07:34:26

Your mother is completely wrong, this is no way to live your one precious life! And its a shocking demonstration of married life for your kids, please do not stay in an unhappy marriage for this reason. My mum left my dad when I was eight, and it was the best thing she could have ever done for me, never mind herself. We had no money, but we thrived away from my dad. I went on to have a great relationship with him when I was a grown up and able to deal with his controlling ways, if we had stayed I would have been crushed, as would my mum. Please do this for yourself and your children, and ignore your mum, she is a fool.

WildfirePonie Thu 15-Jul-21 07:34:57

Get angry. Fuck this shit! Fuck his lazy arse. Get real mad. Tell him how it is. Don't do anything for him. He does nothing so why should you.

Is the house in his name or yours or both? Do you have any money saved? Can you go to your mums short term till you find somewhere to rent? Kick him out otherwise.

Don't talk to your mum about it.. her advice is trash. She wants you to live a miserable, sufferable life for her benefit.

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