I've been with DP for 11 years and DD is 5 next month. DP is really not a bad person, and a devoted father now DD is older - he was pretty distant in the first couple of years. That's when the problems started really. I had PND, his job changed from one that was ordinary 9-5 to one that is long hrs, lots of functions and absorbs him almost entirely. Plus we moved house when DD was 10mos to a bigger place but more isolated, less accessible, and with lots of work needed. I think in a funny way my animosity towards this house has been tied up with everything that's gone wrong with us - our cat was run over right outside the week we moved in, and the following week was when I discovered DP was having an affair. After that the place has always seemed to symbolise misery, loneliness and gloom, a place where I've been abandoned to my own sadness so often.
I found the affair very hard to get over and had counselling for this. We did the Relate thing together too. But to be honest the distance that grew up between us in those couple of years has never really diminished. And then there are the arguments. These are mainly to do with how we spend our weekends - we both work full time, so these are precious for both, and given that he is seldom home during the week I like us to do things together, whereas he is more and more defensive of his right to pursue his hobbies, which are running (an hr long run plus a long bath), tennis (3 hrs at a time) and windsurfing (if conditions are right for this everything else gets cancelled immediately). He feels I should accept him as he is and support the things that make him happy - unfortunately none of them include me! He says that neither of us will change, he likes the outdoors whereas I like 'staying in and making lists'. He rejects my need for a sense of order and is determined not to make plans. He socialises constantly because of his job but I can count the times we go out together in a year on one hand. He calls me 'a spoilt brat' but ignores the fact I gave up my friends and proximity to family and moved to his part of the world so he could continue windsurfing. I was thinking the other day 'Why did I make such a bad decision? How did I ever end up here?' and I realised I never questioned it at the time because I loved him and I was happy to be with him. Now it no longer makes any sense to me.
Five months ago he moved out of our home and into a rented house for a trial separation. The intention was to have space to get things in perspective and we both hoped to ultimately get back together. We've seen each other regularly (he's spent lots of time with DD). I was committed to finding a way forward and wanted to keep our family together at all costs. Twice we went to neutral venues (i.e not home) for 'serious talks' (not rows) and the last one seemed really positive - there was lots of talk of 'common ground' and 'indulging each other', and I made a real effort to be magnamimous towards his gripes and agree to be more understanding of him. I thought we'd made progress. We've since been on a family holiday which went OK, and although I was scared to ask I thought it was only a matter of time before he'd move back.
Last week was his 40th birthday and I made sure he was really treated - several presents from me and DD, dinner at home in the week and then we took him out to lunch at the WEnd. I spent hours making him a special book of photos of him and DD as a gift.
The next I hear from him is a text saying he's not renewing his lease on the rented house. I reply that I am really relieved - HIS reply is that he's only not renewing it because he can't afford it, and he's not sure we should get back together. I am shocked to be told this by text and say as much. He then launches an attack thus 'as far as I'm concerned I'm at the bottom of your list - you, DD, work...I'm somewhere between the washing up and taking the rubbish out.' I try to ring him and he picks up the phone and cuts it off. When I eventually speak to him later it turns out he is drunk, but it also emerges that (due to drinking that night also) he doesn't remember any of the things we talked about when we 'sorted things out'. So as far as he is concerned nothing has moved on - we've basically wasted our time.
Next day he doesn't recall any of THIS conversation either. But for the first time I really, truly and without any intention of calling his bluff feel I've had enough (it's not the first time I've had unprovoked nasty texts when he's been drunk, and it just seems all the worse this time because it's just after I've done all this stuff for his birthday. Then I'm just minding my own business, getting DD ready for bed, and he texts me and makes me cry. Why?) I tell him as far as I'm concerned we're finished and I'll be taking advice on what my options are. He says 'Have it your own way.' This was yesterday lunchtime and he hasn't addressed it since.
I think what really pisses me off is that he evidently felt things weren't sorted out and we hadn't discussed it enough but did fuck all about it, and then just attacked me with it. And what is the point of all these 'discussions' when it just goes in one ear and out the other? I really don't see how it's remotely possible to find a way forward with someone who behaves like this. I have tried so SO hard not to split up our family but I think, after five years of things not being good the feeling that I'm banging my head harder and harder and harder against a wall my patience just ran out.
Does anyone have any views?
If you found counselling helpful before then it may well help you again when it comes to making the split as amicable as possible. But it does sound like you have spent a very long time trying to make him 'love' you and there comes a point where you have to stop doing that as it is such an incredibly demoralising way to live. Now would be a good time to start finding out what you really want out of life (hint: do not prioritize having another couple-relationship) you do seem to have made him the centre of your world, which is not healthy.
Thanks solidgoldbrass, I think you're right that it's now about making the split amicable and not pursuing the relationship any more. He would love to hear you say that i've made him the centre of my world - he thinks the very opposite!
I've actually posted my message again because I forgot to put a title on the first time - sorry, MN novice!
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