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Should I stay or should I go? Is friendship enough?

(30 Posts)
birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 07:14:13

Having a big dilemma about whether to stay in my marriage or not. We've been married for 10 years and have two fab dc but I just don't know if I want to be with him anymore. I don't think I love him and don't fancy him - when I see him in his swimming trunks, for example, I get a knot in my stomach; I hate his teeth. We've had some difficult times although on a superficial level rub along ok. I see him more as a friend/brother than a lover. I don't really want sex with him. I'm quite young - early 30s and I don't know whether there is enough to sustain a marriage or whether to go; although I'm aware being a single parent is hard I don't want to be miserable for the next however many years with a man I don't really love. Please help!

shatteredmumsrus Tue 02-Sep-08 07:17:33

I so sympathise wth you - I dont think I can help as I have posted a similar thread. Its making me really unhappy. Im not eating or sleeping. How are you coping. It is sooo confusing. I am only 30 and have 2 chldren who adore their dad. I cant stand the thought of him touching or even kissing me and I dont fancy him. But the thought of him being with someone else makes my stomach churn. What we gonna do eh. Sorry I didnt help x

birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 07:21:21

Sending you lots of hugs shatteredmums - it really is such a hard decision isn't it. See, for me, if I knew he was with another woman it would hurt a bit but be more of a relief because I would have a get-out-clause. That sounds awful but it is how I feel. One of my RL friends did say to me that you only have one life and you can't be unhappy, and that is true, but it still isn't an easy decision. Is your OH good to you?

shatteredmumsrus Tue 02-Sep-08 07:28:36

Generally he is but he likes thedrink a bit too much. He went out fo 24 hours on Saturday without a phonecall or txt. So I have chucked him out butI was really unhappy anyway so i used it as an excuse i think. He is sending all these sorry txts and i dont know what to say to him. He is begging and pleading with me. Is yourOH good to you?

birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 07:36:57

Not all the time. He has once or twice got very angry with me and has been very pushy re sex. He can be really nice but has this other side to him that I find so horrible. The thing is that he really loves me (or so he says) but I wonder whether it's always been a bit one-sided and I married him because I wanted to settle down and have children. Your situation sounds hard - drink is never easy to deal with. Maybe make him sweat for a bit.

birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 07:42:02

Take care shatteredmums, I'm just off to sort out my dc and have a shower! I'll come back later. xxx

shatteredmumsrus Tue 02-Sep-08 07:55:33

Im off to work = speak later xxx

birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 09:12:00

Has anyone else ever been through this? Do you think it will become clearer with time, if we are apart for a while? Part of me doesn't want to throw it all away but on the other hand life is short and maybe I could find someone who I truly love. But is this selfish for the children? So many questions.

birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 10:04:17


birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 10:12:28

bumping again - not desperate or anything wink.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 02-Sep-08 10:29:48

I know it's easy for me to say (married only 18 months, first child on the way) so I'm in the early stages, but I couldn't consider staying with someone I didn't love or fancy. The not fancying comes with falling out of love - there's no bigger turn off than feelings disappearing. Only you know whether you really have stopped loving him or whether it's a phase but if the first - you can't waste your whole life with him.
I wouldn't advise someone to leave a partner if they weren't absolutely sure that the love had gone - it can feel that way but can be fixed - but sometimes it can't. It's your call...

birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 10:44:08

Thanks kat. We are going to have some counselling and I will try hard with that but if not then I think I know what I should do long-term. It will break his heart and I will feel awful but I can't stay with him because I feel sorry for him. I have felt like this for ages and just plodded on so I don't think it is a phase.

birthdaybird Tue 02-Sep-08 12:55:25

How do you know if you love someone - do you just know?

MuthaHubbard Tue 02-Sep-08 14:32:37

'i don't want to be miserable for the next however many years with a man I don't really love'

That part of the sentence was one of the final reasons why i decided to end things with my h. after a long period of trying to rectify things, i realised i couldn't go on for god knows how many years being so unhappy, loney and miserable. of course there were other problems, including lack of sex and the fact that we were more like lodgers than a married couple. I also didn't want our dc to think that adult relationships were cold and unloving. The hardest decision was to end it once and for all but once i had made that decision, it felt right and like a weight had been lifted.

your friend is right, life is short. but you will feel better if you know you've tried everything to make it right.

expatinscotland Tue 02-Sep-08 14:49:07

I think people have very contrived notions of what love is and it makes for a great deal of unhappiness.

You don't 'fall' into or out of love with someone. Because real love isn't like that. Nor does it have to do with all this fancying nonsense. It is a continuum and a spectral disorder, if you will, that can wax and wane but you know it will endure.

Because REAL love is when it doesn't matter if he turned into the Hunchback of Notre Dame after a car accident, you would love the person he was inside. And if his physicality put you off, you would be willing to tell him that and try to work through it, rather than 'Oh, I don't fancy you anymore, the 'love' is gone' (because you got old, fat, sick, bad teeth, etc.) because you respect him.

And he would do the same for you if the shoe were on the other foot.

If such is the case, then yes, often enough, you're better off without such a person because you're not doing either of you any favours.

I'm not talking about partners or husbands who behave abusively, have substance abuse problems, drink or gamble all the money away, etc.

But no matter how it works out, do yourself a big favour and get some counselling and work out how it feels to really love someone before getting involved with anyone else.

shatteredmumsrus Tue 02-Sep-08 17:40:39

Im keeping a close eye on this thread as im in the same position

solidgoldbrass Tue 02-Sep-08 17:50:39

If you think that a new relationship would fix all your problems, then bear in mind that it won't. Ever. (not talking about affairs or any such thing, more the idea that if your partner gets on your tits, there may be a Mr Perfect out there waiting for you who will never skidmark his pants or forget your birthday or whatever).
Is your DH neglecting himself a bit (not washing often enough, slobbing around in curry-stained vests?) THink of 3 things you would like him to change and ask him what 3 things he would like you to change; if he's not violent, decietful or an addict you might be able to improve things.

Most marriages are not great passionate things; most people 'settle' with whichever decent attractive available person is around at the time they feel the urge to do so; in some cases it's inertia (one partner wants marriage/babies, the other one is less keen but feels that it's what you have to do sooner or later and it's less hassle than breaking up - these are the ones more likely to go wrong).

missbumpy Tue 02-Sep-08 20:49:49

Reading this with interest as I was about to post a similar thread. Not so much about how DP looks as I still think he's good looking (even though I don't want sex with himn hmm). We've had a really hard year and I feel he's let me down in so many ways. He's not abusive or anything. He's a real sweetie. He's just really, really crap! He doesn't help out, he's lazy, he's forgetful, he's disorganised, he's pushed me to the brink of financial ruin...he seems to be terminally unemployed. Anyway, I could go on. The point is that I'm now questioning how I feel about him and wondering if I was ever in love with him.
It's so hard to know, is it better to be in a relationship 'for the sake of the kids' or is it better to be happy (and not showing the kids a really bad model of unhappy cold relationships)? My parents stayed together for the kids and divorced as soon as we left home and it was horrible. I had such an unhappy home life because of it. I'd hate to inflict that on my DD.
I agree that counselling is the 1st step but I'm finding it hard to get hold of some counselling that doesn't cost the earth at the moment. We're stony broke
Good luck anyway.

birthdaybird Wed 03-Sep-08 14:55:01

missbumpy, you're not alone. It is a hard decision isn't it. How old is your dd? I think that the longer you leave it the harder it is on them. A teacher that I know said that if you split when they are teenagers they can get really screwed up. And I think my youngest picks up on the tension anyway and he's 5. Back later.

eeewahwoowah Wed 03-Sep-08 15:23:47

i went through a similar situation in my early twenties and my advice is to tell him how you feel. it will be painful and he will be hurt and angry but at least it will be out in the open and together you can work towards a solution.

the solution for myself and my partner back then was to split (we didn't have children. we went to couple counselling for a few months to see if we could retrieve it but it was beyond saving. The counselling helped smooth the split and i heard a few home truths about myself that have never left me and helped me immensely in forming the wonderful relationship I now have with my dh.

eeewahwoowah Wed 03-Sep-08 15:27:51

incidentally i spent 5 years living on my own before i met dh. i would recommend what others have said, if you do split with your h then give yourself some time to yourself. being a single parent may be hard but it has got to be better than being with the wrong partner.

birthdaybird Wed 03-Sep-08 16:17:16

We had quite a frank discussion the other evening and he told me that if it did finish in divorce he'd be devastated. But he knows there have been difficult times and acknowledges there are issues that need to be resolved. Maybe if the counselling doesn't solve the problem,it may help ease the split.

missbumpy Wed 03-Sep-08 20:26:42

My DD's 33 Birthdaybird. It is really hard isn't it? I'm so up and down. I know he desperately wants to be with us and expects us to grow old together. I'm just really not sure how I feel about him anymore. I don't want to throw away a relationship with the father of my child but then I don't want to spend the rest of my life in an unhappy relationship either.

I've just managed to get an appointment for some counselling for me and I'm working on trying to get some marriage guidance counselling for the 2 of us.

Well done for having a frank discussion. That's got to be a good starting point.

MuthaHubbard Wed 03-Sep-08 21:28:21

My best advice is to talk.

A lot of the things you describe are how I felt. But it got worse, h spoke to me like i was something he brought in on his shoe - when he actually spoke, leaving the room when I entered, borrowed money against our home without telling me, booked a holiday for himself without telling me, got out of the shower/bed if I got in, called me an arsehole in front of my father at my sisters wedding and so on..... TBH we left it so long things got a little nasty.

These things eventually turned me off him, physically and emotionally. If he had still cared, loved and respected me, John Merrick or not, maybe we could have carried on. But he didn't. I do think we stopped loving each other in the end.

If there's things that can change, talk and try and change them.

Only you can make the decision as to whether you want to split, but try everything, including relate.

twistedangel Wed 03-Sep-08 21:44:32

i am so in the same situation.
how do you tell someone that it's over after nearly 13 years together.

he won't go for councilling, doesn't like talking about his feelings, not even to me.

he can be affectionate sometimes, it just feels that me and the kids are just a huge pain in the arse to him and i don't want to feel like this for the next 30 years, but what if i make the wrong decision.

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