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Please help me make this difficult decision.

(27 Posts)
hardtimes Tue 26-Aug-08 13:01:35

I am married with dc. My h admits that he never really gave 100% to the marriage and during the time we have been together he has been unfaithful to me quite a few times, is extremely verbally abusive and very controlling re money etc. He does not help in the house in anyway and gets really angry if I ask for help with the dc. Will do it in the end but there is always a row. I have wanted to leave him for a long time but it never seemed the right time or I just kept giving it one more chance.

I am doing an access course this year and want to attend University next year. Whenever I have mentioned university and a career in the past to H there has always been an issue, doesnt fit in with family, I should have done it before I settled down with dc, anything I do needs to fit in with them, he wont support me financially while I piss around at uni.

Having looked into it I realise I would be much better off financially, studying as a lone parent. H now plays lip service to supporting me but I know that he wont and I dont want to have to depend on someone so unreliable. I feel though, that if I leave now then I am being really cold and choosing uni, career and financial security for my kids (something I doubt we will ever get with h) over marriage and family but if I stay with him all I can see is years more nonsense and unhappiness with him, with me doing crappy unskilled jobs and never getting anywhere. I never left before because he is a good dad, he loves his kids and they love him and I just put all my own unhappiness aside to keep the family together. Please give me you opinions and advice.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 26-Aug-08 13:03:28

If I were you I would leave - nothing is worth being unhappy forever. I'm not advising you to though.

TheHedgeWitch Tue 26-Aug-08 13:04:39

Message withdrawn

MarkStretch Tue 26-Aug-08 13:05:33

It sounds to me like rather than making 'cold' decisions, you are making rational and well thought out ones.

You sound like you're unhappy and maybe a clean break and independence would be the best thing for you, but only you know that.

The dc's can still have a good loving relationship with their Dad, and you can live your life.

Mamazon Tue 26-Aug-08 13:05:34

your not.

you are choosing a life where you are not belittled and demeaned at every turn., you are choosing a life where your children will not gorw up thiking it is ok to spea to someone like dirt.
you will choose a life that teaches your children that it is better to make a go of education and fight to gain a good career no matter what other people say.
you will be choosing a life whereyour children know that their mum is a strong and brave woman who would rather struggle to get what she wants than sit back on the easy track to an unfulfilled life.

zippitippitoes Tue 26-Aug-08 13:05:50

well if he is unfaithful, extremely verbally abusive and very controlling re anything then he doesnt sound great at all

i think all these things would rather fight against the idea he is a great dad as they are incompatible with a good relationship with yoyur partner and being a family and a great dad is about all the relationships

it sounds like you have a good opportunity to move on with yoyur life and i would consider that to be honest

tokentotty Tue 26-Aug-08 13:05:54


He's an idiot. You know you'd be better off without him. Not only that, you'd be happier. Is the decision really that hard ? Re-read your post perhaps and try and see it as if you were reading something written by a stranger, this may help you see how obvious the answer is.

NothingSweetAboutMe Tue 26-Aug-08 13:08:05

You live only once. Can you imagine taking another 30 years worth of crap?

From reading your post, it is clear that you know yourself what you want to do.

And you'll be doing it for your kids too, providing them with a better environment both financially and emotionally.

Your dh can still be a good dad, but not a shit husband anymore.

QuintessentialShadow Tue 26-Aug-08 13:08:41

You are thinking straight. Good on you. Leave. You will be perfectly capable of bringing up your children as a lone student parent.

MrsSnorty Tue 26-Aug-08 13:11:18

Your only positive about your current situation is that he is a 'good dad'? Sorry but someone who refuses to help with the DCs, is verbally abusive, unfaithful and mean to you does not sound like a good dad to me.
You will still have a family if you leave him and you will be doing the right thing for your DCs. Don't let them grow up watching you being treated like this.

purpleduck Tue 26-Aug-08 13:13:02

Sorry, he is NOT a good Dad!!
Good Dads DON'T need to have an arguement to do stuff for their children
Good Dads do NOT treat their children's mother the way he treats you
Good Dads do NOT control financially

And if he is a good Dad, then he will continue to be one after you leave him.

He is a crap husband, you sound like a caring mum - your children will get through with your support, but they will not benefit from having a terrible example of marriage set before them - nor will they benefit from seeing how miserable you are.

Good Luck!

fuzzywuzzy Tue 26-Aug-08 13:17:40

He loves his kids, fabulous, maybe he'll be a half way decent father to them when you've split up and he has to pull his weight around with the children on his days with them.

Work out practically how you will be doing the move, consult a solicitor, and do what you have to do to make your life a pleasant one. Of course your feelings matter, you might both live till 90, do you want to be just putting up with life?

Unless of course theres a hope he'll change, ie counselling, you both make practical efforts to change the dynamics of the household, he doesn't 'help' around the house he does his share, you study for your career and he supports your decisions etc.

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 26-Aug-08 13:23:04

i think I remember a thread of yours from a while back and you seem to have moved on a lot since then.
When I left my ex I didn't even have children but he was controlling, abusive, unsociable, bullying. I still tried to find bits of nice to think about him 'he's good at diy' or some other crap while I was in denial about just what I was having to put up with.
When it came to actually realising I had to leave him I came up with all sorts of excuses - I like my house, it will be more awkward to get to work, etc etc.
One thing that really helped me, was when I realised - and kept repeating to myself -

'people split up all the time. Its just that today its me'

Somehow knowing that other people do this day in day out for whatever reasons of their own, and they all go on to have different lives and the dust does settle and they move on, helped me. because when its YOU separating it really seems like the end of the world and insurmountable. But its not, its just something you have to do, and once you've done it, it will seem like it was no big deal after all.

And hopefully, like me, your only regret will be that you didn't do it sooner.

Best of luck in whatever you decide, and you know there are all those mumsnetters who will have been there and can support you, all at the end of a keyboard.

hardtimes Tue 26-Aug-08 13:25:03

Thanks everyone. I know deep down it is the right thing but I am terrified of getting this wrong and ruining my dc's lives.

He says he is trying to be different and turn our marriage around but nothing really seems that different and I have given him literally hundreds of chances before. I dont think he is a nasty person deep down, but he has watched his parents horrible marriage and thinks that is how is should be and re-enacts it with me. He has many problems of his own and I am scared I am throwing him to the wolves if I leave him. I didn't throw him out before because in spite of everything I still loved him but I don't anymore and I feel like I am being selfish by saying "OK, well now you can piss off, now that something positive is happening for me", I am crying while I type this because I am so confused and sad about everything. I just want to get it right for the dc. I just don't think we are very good together. I know I am no picnic either.

He says he is working to make everything different but I know he will never, ever put me before himself and I think that in a marriage sometimes, not always, you have to be willing to do that and he never ever would. A big feature of our marriage has been this need in him to make sure that I don't have as many "rights" in the marriage as him.

MarkStretch Tue 26-Aug-08 13:33:19

Please don't worry about throwing him to the wolves. He is probably far more capable than you realise and will be fine. Often these situations force people to get a grip and do things for themselves.

You have said that you no longer love him and while I understand you are worried for your children, you have to think about what is making you miserable and what could make you happy.

These massive life decisions are always terrifying and scary but it can work out for the best.

Your children will benefit from your happiness and independence.

Iwanttobreakfree Tue 26-Aug-08 13:53:23


Go to Relate.

If not to work together to make it better, to sort out your own head for an amicable split and for him to realise why what he has done is wrong.

I am right where you are at the moment except have attended 2 Relate sessions. I am still with my DH and don't know what I am going to do, but know I have the RIGHT to do what is best for me and kids.

From my perspective it sounds like you should leave him but I know its not as simple as that.

Sounds like, (like me), you already know the right thing to do. Talking about it on here is the second step - taking the access course was the 1st (and well done you!)

Take care xx

missingtheaction Tue 26-Aug-08 14:14:54

Been here, worried about this, got the decree absolute. I do sympathise with you, and don't rush yourself. Wait for the tipping point to come to you - no need to rush towards it, and it may just never arrive.

Three considerations for you:
- thinking about you - clearly this marriage is damaging you and you should get out asap. if you didn't have dcs you would probably be long gone wouldn't you?
- thinking of him - will he be damaged by your leaving? well, he is pretty damaged already and he won't be mended by you staying (you've tried that). He may have a bad role model in his parent's marrage but he is old enough and smart enough to look at that and say 'that was BAD I should NOT be doing it'. You have to stop using this as an excuse for him to make your life a misery. It's not as if he even gives the impression taht he is very committed to the marriage. You've done what you can for him.
- thinking about the dcs - practically it will be better for them if you leave, you've said you will be more financially stable. Emotionally, will they suffer? it depends on lots of things. But how will it be for them if you stay? as they grow up they will see the relationship for what it is - how will that affect them? will they come to hate or dispise him or you? will they go on to repeat this marital pattern in the future? what if his mum thought this too but she decided to stay - would he be a better person if she'd left???

tough times. (((hugs)))

dollius Tue 26-Aug-08 18:44:27

People in good marriages always put each other first. I know my DH would put my needs above his own if necessary and vice versa. Together we put the children's needs above ours.
Your H is not doing either of these things. He refuses to help with the DC, he belittles and bullies their mother - that is definitely not what you or your dc need.
Remember what you said about your H witnessing his parents' marriage and just repeating it with you. Do you want your DC to do that too?
Get out, get yourself to university, get that career and make your kids really proud of their strong, clever mum. If your H really loves his kids, he will continue to have a relationship with them regardless of whether you are together or not.

hardtimes Tue 26-Aug-08 18:49:53

I know you are all right. I know I am right to do it but for some reason it feels as though I am being incredibly selfish and as though no good can come of it. To actually put what I want first feels alien to me as if because it is something that I want then it must be bad, even though my dc will be the ones who benefit the most in the end. The job I will end up doing is very well paid and respected and my dc will do so well out it. I am going to do it but I am really scared.

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 26-Aug-08 21:57:52

Of course you are scared. Just starting college is scary enough, leaving a relationship is scary, finding somewhere to live is scary.

So many scary things all at once.

But please don't feel guilty for putting yourself first for once. as dollius said, your partner should put YOU first. Imo if your partner does not put you first, then you have to do it yourself. You only feel bad about it because thats the way your dh has conditioned you to think - so that you always put him first.

You have put other people first long enough and got nothing to show for it. Your dh has had his chance and lost you. Yes he will be on his own but he's brought it on himself. Sure he will cry and wail and say he loves you and will change. But you know he won't. Do this for yourself and your children and don't look back.

solidgoldbrass Tue 26-Aug-08 22:02:18

HT: he's made you think that you are less of a person than him. Unfortunately there are still too many men who don't think that women are human beings, they are 'wives' and 'mothers' and exist only for other people's convenience. You will be fine without hi. He won't change. He won't die, either, he will find some other woman to bully and leech off.

JessJess3908 Tue 26-Aug-08 22:27:34

I've read some of your previous posts too. Get your coat on and get out the door already.

charliechew Wed 27-Aug-08 00:16:59

Hi Hardtimes,

I know how you feel,because I'm more or less in the same boat as you. My DH is controlling and abusive too, and we always have an arguement when I suggest that he helps with the kids. My best advice to you is to go with the uni course and take back some of your independence - like I have,it will give you the confidence and self esteem to get yourself back on track. The trouble is, and you are probably thinking the same too,when you're having a crap day with your DH, which will be more often than not - that you just want to go and get out of the situation - don't, take five mins and think of a plan of how you will get out of the situation.Believe me it will give you something to focus on. focus on one thing at a time, then you will be able to eventually get away. If you try to deal with everyhing at the same time then you'll just end up panicking and getting upset. You'll get there,god bless and good luck.

dollius Wed 27-Aug-08 06:45:01

But hardtimes, you are not being selfish and you are not putting yourself first. Your dc need you to do this as much as you do. It will do them no good to grow up within a marriage like this. Both they and you deserve better. Do it for them.

FlightAttendent Wed 27-Aug-08 07:13:07

One comment I feel the need to respond to - the bit about throwing him to the wolves.

One thing I know about men like this is that they are relying on you to enable their behaviour - they need to grow up, and this can only be done if you leave them to it. He'll never, ever change if he still has your 'permission' to act like a big child.

You're giving him that by staying his mind anyway. If you stand up to it and take responsibility for your life rather than trying to take it for his, it will be much better for both of you! smile

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