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DP has upset me one time too many and this time I think it's the end

(27 Posts)
Indiestarr Fri 29-Aug-08 23:54:10

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?

Quattrocento Fri 29-Aug-08 23:59:18

I think you both have to compromise somewhere. I'm not sure what the compromise is of course, but it sounds like a bit of a stand off.

Also I see you both work - would it be possible to scale the work back? Both of you? Have a bit more time for one another? We both work fulltime plus and it is truly hard and does take a toll.

Soapbox Sat 30-Aug-08 00:07:44

If I am being honest, I rather think that he is having an affair.

The behaviour of when he is with you giving you the impression that he wants to get back to you and when he is not with you (possibly having just seen the OW) he says he doesn't and indeed can't remember ever discussing getting back together, is IME fairly typical of the man who can't choose between one partner and another.

I can see from your OP that you have agreed to put up with his windsurfing obsession, but can't see what his compromise areas are - what did he agree to do that would make you want him back?

It is also pretty rare to be so drunk that you can hold a deep and meaningful convo but not recall any of it the following day!

The other possibility is that he has a drug problem- some of the irrational stuff might be seen in someone with a pretty serious coke habit!

In any event, I think it is pretty unlikely that you'll ever have a relationship with this man, that makes you feel happy and secure. You may have other reasons for staying with him (and your child is a good reason in my book) and so some more counselling might be a good idea before finally giving up on him. But really, I do feel from your OP that it is very much about whether you can subordinate your own happiness and needs in order to keep this relationship going and that is actually quite a sad position to be in

Wishing you strength, whatever you decide to do

3littlefrogs Sat 30-Aug-08 00:09:09

I know I have issues with alcoholism due to bad things that have happened in my life, but, whenever I see phrases like "drunk", "unable to remember conversations", my instinct is to run as fast as possible in the opposite direction.

Men who drink to the point where they cannot remember important discussions about their lives and their children's future are unable to take responsibility for being good husbands and fathers.

That is my opinion, based on bitter experience. Sorry.

IAteDavinaForDinner Sat 30-Aug-08 00:10:27

I agree, the stalling point seems to be compromise. You have to both do it, somehow, but neither of you are budging. I don't think the text exchange thing should be taken into account, it's just recent and raw and it's made you angry. Think more about this when you've let a little bit of time pass.

I do think he's being a bit unreasonable to expect to have all the free time as his free time IYSWIM. But I also know how easy it is to get yourself into a cycle of negativity so he feels you're critical and unsupportive of his interests.

Can't answer it for you but I admire your tenacity in trying to figure things out. Your gut feeling is the one to roll with though.

beanieb Sat 30-Aug-08 00:12:58

I rally really dn't think you should see "'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" as an attack.

he may not remember it but it sounds to me like this is how he is feeling about your relationship. You need to work on that as well as what you want.

beanieb Sat 30-Aug-08 00:15:04

Oh god! why does everything have to resort to 'alcoholic' or 'affair'

what next 'abuse'?

BloodySmartarse Sat 30-Aug-08 00:16:34

sounds to me like you jst plain arent meant to be together.\and that his self-protective instincts are stronger than yours.
sounds like he's prepared to do what it takes to make himself happy... whereas you are more focussed on all of you.
sounds, on basis of op alone, like YOU'd be much better off moving on and being without him. he may not mean to be such a selfish bastard, but upshot is that you are being trodden on time after time.
id suggest realising its not working and moving on. i think you'll be much happier when you do. (also think he'll make himself 'happy' no matter what, so you ought to have same self preserving instinct.)

Soapbox Sat 30-Aug-08 00:17:22

Erm I make several posts a day on MN, and I think this is probably only the second or third in some 6+ years where I have suggested that the person might be having an affair.

So that doesn't quite qualify as everything being an affair!

beanieb Sat 30-Aug-08 00:19:08

Ijust mean in general, nothing personal.

BloodySmartarse Sat 30-Aug-08 00:19:25

i agree with soapy - sounds like he is shagging constantly, and when one affair drops off, he'll pick up another in a heartbeat.
sorry, but it really does.

Soapbox Sat 30-Aug-08 00:22:03

Well given that I am the only person who has posted that he might be having an affair, then I think it is quite reasonable to think that you are referring to my post!

And of course, he has already had an affair, so it isn;t exactly out of character for him to be shagging on the side!

beanieb Sat 30-Aug-08 00:25:10

Sorry, not my intention.

BloodySmartarse Sat 30-Aug-08 00:33:11

indiestarr - i honestly think youd be WAY better off without him.
YOU deserve more.
HES getting more.

Indiestarr Sat 30-Aug-08 01:09:37

Thanks all for your advice. I guess there's a good chance he's having another affair - it would be so easy given that he commutes and often stays in town. If he was tho, and given how bad things have been between us, not sure why he wouldn't have ended it himself.

I do love him a lot but my true heartbreak is for DD as she loves nothing more than for all of us to be together. This is one reason I've tried to cling on and work on it but I now feel I really really don't want to any more. I've spent too long feeling abandoned, neglected and yearning for how our relationship used to be. I think his job has changed him - and probably the drink has helped this too - and he is not interested in 'us' any more. I desperately need there to be an 'us' and there isn't one, and you can't manufacture it can you?

BloodySmartarse Sat 30-Aug-08 01:12:09

nope
you cant
you cant wish it into being either
but you sound LOVELY and im sure when you meet the right person, it will come.
and in the meantime, you and your dd will have a happier time when youre not yearning and being strung along, like you are now.
best wishes x

Indiestarr Sat 30-Aug-08 08:17:44

Thank you for saying such kind things. Of course it makes perfect sense that DD is better off with a liberated, happy mum (and dad come to that) than with two resentful, unfulfilled, arguing people. I'll keep a firm hold of this positive thought. Thank you x

spicemonster Sat 30-Aug-08 08:28:19

Do you believe him when he says he was so drunk when you were having your deep and meaningful conversations that he can't remember anything you discussed? Surely if he were that drunk you would have noticed? Seems very odd to me.

All I can see from your OP is that you have bent over backwards to make him happy over the years and haven't had much consideration back in return. You both deserve happiness in your relationship. What would it take for him to do to make you happy? Do you think he's willing to do those things? I think you need to have a long think about that. Your wellbeing shouldn't be slaughtered on the sacrificial alter of your family to keep it together and that's what it sounds like to me. Sorry

FlightAttendent Sat 30-Aug-08 08:28:38

Oh God, you poor poor thing.

From your OP it sounds as though you are doing ALL the running here and that if you stopped trying so bloody hard, he would just wander off and not give a sh*t.

It rings many alarm bells to me,(I had a similar ex) that he is both passive aggressive (never getitng angry but making out everything is your fault, though he has done everything possible to upset you!) and also totally not committed to the relationship.

I am sorry to say this but I think the time has as you say, come to give up and move on. You need to put you first, and DD of course as you already do.

You can't make it work from where you are, he has to want to and it really doesn't sound like he cares at all - he's just using you as a convenient person to take care of his needs because he can see you are willing to.

I think you should stop and he should grow up, he sounds awful.

I hope you can find the strength to put up some walls around yourself, to stop running about fater this man and let himtake responsibility for his own crappy behaviour.

Take care xx

FlightAttendent Sat 30-Aug-08 08:31:25

Ps mine used to be drinking as well, and he started living with someone else without telling me - I was just a convenient person to sleep with when he needed a bed. It was insulting and extremely hurtful.

Bottom line was that I cared an awful lot and tried very hard, while his heart was elsewhere entirely. sad

When I finally got a bit cross one day he jumped at the chance to stay away more, he was just waiting for me to be the one to say 'go' because then I would be the bad guy iyswim. And of course then he could tell everyone that I was unreasonable and chucked him out, which was beyond a joke really! But the believed him!

Anna8888 Sat 30-Aug-08 08:34:33

I'm afraid that I think your relationship is more than dead and that there is nothing left to work on or compromise about.

Get a divorce. You'll be so much happier and so much better a woman/mother.

2rebecca Sat 30-Aug-08 09:12:55

I agree the relationship sounds over. I do think relationships between sporty people and nonsporty people can work, and think that if your partner has a serious hobby you shouldn't try and stop them doing it just because you want to stay in. I would hate my fit sporty man to turn into a fat slob. It's part of the person he is. He'd be miserable if he didn't cycle and play cricket. It doesn't sound as though you have done much together for a long time though. You also sound a bit hobby less. I think relationships between people with and without hobbies falter because the one without a hobby tries to make their partner and children their main hobby.
I'd get a separation agreement sorted if you're not sure about a divorce. That gets the finances sorted.
He needs to contribute financially and he needs to see his kids regularly.
You need to try properly living without him for a few months then both reconsider the relationship.

MuthaHubbard Sat 30-Aug-08 09:39:24

He sounds incredibly selfish and a bit of a coward, he probably doesn't want to say it's over for fear of being 'the bad person'. He wants you to do it.

You wouldn't be the bad person if you did end it, you would be the bigger person.

Indiestarr Sat 30-Aug-08 09:39:34

As you say Spicemonster, it seems odd not to remember anything from a serious discussion and I don't really know for sure if he honestly can't - that's what he said when drunk but maybe it was being drunk that made him forget. I never know if I'm coming or going basically.

I don't think he's truly awful, just struggling like the rest of us - FlighAttendent, your ex does sound awful!! Living with someone else without telling you!! When you say 'I cared an awful lot and tried very hard, while his heart was elsewhere entirely' it rings big bells with me - I think his heart is in pursuing his own hobbies, keeping his career together and being a father to DD but he doesn't see the importance of a meaningful relationship with me. He will say 'We like doing different things, that's just the way it is', but the way I see it there are many common interests - books, films, riding bikes, exploring the countryside, music, entertaining - but he chooses to fill his time with solitary pursuits or those I can't share and is not interested in how we can combine our shared interests. He thinks I should be happy and content that we sit in the same room doing separate things, and that this represents a relationship! He also thinks I should be happy because his work has provided said room to sit in, plus a nice car for me to drive to work in, and that expecting more is part of tendency of mine to be a 'spoilt brat'. I have never been materialistic and I never asked him to provide top end things as I would much prefer togetherness and happiness - I know that sounds ungrateful but it's just the truth. It's a common trait with him - to ignore the thing you ask for, give you something you DIDN'T ask for and then say 'why aren't you grateful?' His parents are exactly the same - they will seldom agree to give childcare help when needed but will offer help in other ways we don't strictly need - basically they'll do things on their terms only and don't like to feel they are stooping to help. I can see where he gets it from as clear as day.

Indiestarr Sat 30-Aug-08 09:47:17

Hi 2rebecca
Thanks for your advice - just to say I am definitely not hobby less! I read, I learn Russian, I knit, I am into photography and cinema, I love cycling, I love travelling, I'm interested in nature watching. He introduced me to the great outdoors and I have loved doing things like walking the Pennine Way, skiing, long distance cycling etc with him. The problem is that, as I say in my recent post, instead of seeing ways to combine our interests, which I think is infinitely possible, he will say 'i'm happy to let you do your thing, why can't you be happy to just let me do mine'?

May not be able to post for much longer as DD is hankering for attention!

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