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Marriage Over - is it my fault ?- what can I do?

(41 Posts)
LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 20:24:40

Well, it looks like my marriage is over, and I dont know how to feel. I've no-one really to talk to - cant talk to family, girlfriends would be biased. I dont know what to do.

Been married 5 yrs, and with H for another 3. We have a DD (4.5). I also have a DSD (14) from H previous marriage.

It all kicked off this weekend. It was my leaving 'do' from work (we are moving back to UK in 2 weeks). H was invited and I was geared up to get a babysitter, but he decided a week before not to go. He has done this a lot recently, not wanted to go out, stopped going to a weekly quiz night, stopped going to the pub on Fridays. Nothing at my instigation.

Well I was late, and I was drunk. I admit that and I apologised. I had said I would be on the last transport - so home by midnight, but didnt get home till 1am.

He has accused me of having an affair. He says I dont know when to stop drinking and that I cant control myself when I am drunk.

Yep, I can (and do) go over the top, but not often, hardly ever (prob why I go over the top when I do). He drinks every night and is usually slurring his words by 8 and in bed by 9 - even if we have guests.

I have never ever cheated on him and wouldn't. He says I have. Cited 3 incidents where he says I was doing 'the closest thing to cheating' and that I had reached '3 strikes and youre out'

First one was in 2001. He was overseas, I was working away from home. We had been 'a couple' for 2 months, but only in the same country for a couple of weeks. I was pissed off (and pissed up) on my birthday and had a 'birthday kiss' from his mate - I told H the next time we talked, I didnt see it as a biggie, he certainly didnt say anything at the time. He now says I snogged him. I probably did say that when I told him, but that really is a word I use - I dont mean that I was sticking my tongue down his throat - and I wasnt, but H says that was enough. TBH I didnt even remember this 'incident' until H mentioned it tonight - thats how much it meant to me.

Second incident was a few weeks ago. We were having a BBQ party - lots of mates round, lots of booze. Male friend (of both of us, wife is my BF) made some suggestive joke when I got squirty cream out of fridge. I sprayed it on him and licked it off his nipple blush. Wife was peeing herself, so was everyone else. I accept now that was prob very unacceptable behaviour. H is now saying that I looked at friend 'sexually' and that friend said 'oh I'm going hard now' I certainly dont remember that and didnt hear any comments. Again, nothing was said at the time and I didn't even think about it after. This couple used to be really good friends - but in the last few months H has been saying he doesnt want to keep in touch with them - I am gutted, she is my BF.

3rd incident is laughable, but not it seems to him. On Sat I was 'punished' all day. he went out to 'be on his own' four a few hours, when he came back he sat in garden on own for almost 2 hrs because a friend had come round to say goodbye. We had a steaming row at the end of the day which culminated in him saying he would help me and DD move back, but then he was leaving.

He's done this before so in the end I didn't defend myself, but agreed it was best option. He asked for an amount of cash as a 'pay off' and I agreed. He then turned it all around and said 'You planned this - you are going to make me out to be the bad one when its all you'. Kicked off a few more times then went to bed.

Any way on Sun he 'made up' with me, asked if we could forget the last night. Later that afternoon we had sex (he gets very sulky when we dont, we average once a week but recently have had lots of visitors / DD sleeping with us) It had been just over a week. Prior to sex I had a call on my mobile. It was a wrong number, he says he answered it and bloke said sorry mate, wrong number.

Later Sun evening after he had been drinking he suddenly blew up again and accused me of having an affair. We had been fine all afternoon. Says I had given my number out to bloke on phone. I hadn't, it really was a wrong number - bloody rotten coincidence. I really shouted at him this time (and in front of DD - I am ashamed of myself) and I think he knows he went too far. I took DD and went to bed early. He drank some more then went to bed himself.

Tonight he now says that bloke said my name first. I cannot see how that it true. I even phoned bloke back in front of H but he still doesnt believe me.

I just dont know what to think. Am I so bad? What on earth can I do to put this right, when I'm not sure what I've dont wrong. He is constantly sniping at me now and made some comment tonight about how his 'terms had changed'. But he never says what he means. I have been stewing over this all day, and wanted to talk to him tonight but he went to bed before DD, and I cant talk to him in front of her (last night as I was walking up the stairs with her she said 'you and daddy have been shouting, you should say sorry' and I snapped 'Daddy never says sorry'. I know I shouldnt have, but he really doesnt - I dont think I have ever heard that word. Well tonight she said to him, out of the blue 'why dont you ever say sorry daddy' and it started him off again')

There have been loads of things wrong with our marriage, but I cannot believe it is all over. I'm about to move countries, leave friends, new home, DD starting school 2 days after we get to UK, new job in 4 weeks and now I've got to factor in childcare / single parentism / weekend access and everything.

I feel like I'm going mad. Christ what do I do?

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 20:25:31

Shit, LOOOOOOONG post, sorry blush. I waffle when I'm upset sad

nkf Mon 17-Aug-09 20:29:46

Well, you sound a bit flirty and maybe he's always been more unhappy about it than he let on. The three incidents are so different (IMO) its hard to judge. FWIW, I don't think being an hour later than you said is a big deal. Do you think he might be looking for an excuse to leave?

tiredoftherain Mon 17-Aug-09 20:30:30

What a lot going on - do you think the move has put him under enormous stress and it's coming out by him attacking you. It does sound like you've done a couple of daft things, but I don't think they warrant the treatment he's dishing out.

If there have been "loads of things wrong" with your marriage, this might have been inevitable. I think counselling might be an idea if you do want to sort it out, otherwise take it one day at a time. Would splitting affect your plans to move? Do you have support in the UK?

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 20:43:57

nkf - he said that tonight. I honestly didnt think I was, but I suppose I am. I would with almost exclusively men, I have far more male friends than female (well I did, I've been feeling more isolated recently) and treat the men like girls in a way - I certainly dont fancy any of them or anything like that. 'Cream' friend is the only one I would have ever done anything like that with, but we are flirty with each other I suppose, and wife is a fantastic friend - she knows what is going on for eg but just keeps saying I should leave/let him leave.

tiredoftherain. We have to move because of my job (DH doesnt work). I have family in UK but parents are elderly/infirm. Will be living about an hour away from them.

I dont think counselling is an option. He would say there was no need because there is nothing wrong with him. I'm the one with the problem.

We used to go out a lot, but now whenever I suggest it he says he doesnt want to, so we dont go. I get grief at work because I dont go to events/functions. But then during arguements he says he has 'no friends, no social life and its my fault'. I'm getting it from all ends.

I feel like I am going mad here

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 21:20:32

I should just accept it I suppose - but God, all the plans we had made for the future - what a bloody waste.

I only went back to work because he wanted me to, it was so we would have enough for our future. He would do the childcare and I would bring in the wages. Although DD ended up in childcare anyway, because he wanted to go back to work.

I know its been hard for him, when we moved over here there were no jobs for him, He felt isolated I suppose, but everything I tried to suggest wasn't good enough, or he didnt want to do.

In 3 yrs time, when DD is 7 we could have both retired if we wanted, mortage free and working only if we wanted to. We talked about living overseas permanently, we had so many plans - all for the great life we were going to have.

All over....

Leeka Mon 17-Aug-09 21:29:52

He sounds quite depressed...does this sound likely?

The arguments seem designed to provoke a reaction from you, not entirely rationally, and perhaps have gone further than he intended by him not wanting to back down?

Could you try telling him that counselling is not because either of you have done something wrong (you say 'He would say there was no need because there is nothing wrong with him. I'm the one with the problem.') but because there is something wrong with your relationship, and you'd like like to work at making it better, together?

FWIW, you don't sound like you've done anything wrong to me, or even been excessively flirty, just are trying to live a normal, fun-loving life, with someone who is not on the same wavelength.

sparkiestfiend Mon 17-Aug-09 21:39:21

My heart is breaking for you! It does sound as though neither of you are truly happy, especially if there are 'loads of other things' wrong with your marriage. It sounds to me as though you have just been existing together for the sake of a good future, maybe you should think about yourself and whether you are happy now? You don't really sound it when you talk about the social life and friends you have given up for him.

Although, all that said, if there is anyway you can talk it through sensibly with him, without having a screaming match, then maybe you will both see each others point of view a bit better - from what you have described of your husband, it sounds as though he's quite depressed and stuck in a rut? Maybe that's a complete presumption on my part, but maybe it's also the root of some of your problems?

I don't really have any good advice or experience to give, I just wanted to say that I hope you sort things out, one way or another, and that you and your dd are happy.

Take care, xx

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 21:41:02

You know, I hadn't really thought of putting it to him like that - God, how stupid am I - Maybe that would work, I dont know. He seems so angry, so I'd have to chose my moment carefully.

I had wondered about depression. I would understand that, but its so bloody frustrating - when we argue he says he has no life, when we talk again I suggest ways to 'get a life' - he says he doesnt want to, that all he needs is me and DD, then we argue again and he goes back to the start.

Even 'cream' friend was a set-up by me. I worked with him in UK, heard him talking to his mates about going to the pub and asked him to take H along (H was drinking a lot at home and complaining he didnt have a social life). They got on great and made it a reg Fri thing. Then 'Cream' moved over here and got me a job too. We came over a year ago, I thought we were happy, but now this - and apparently he's never been happy here.

The hour late thing is pissing me off now - marriage over because of that WTF? All the Fri evenings he was 'going out for a couple' at 5 and rolling home drunk at 11 - I never said a bloody word. Or rather all I asked was that he phoned me (he never did)

Leeka Mon 17-Aug-09 21:45:31

Good luck talking to him. Hopefully you can get him to agree to some counselling rather than just walk away from the marriage without working at it (another tack to try might be 'for your dd's sake'?), and hopefully the counselling will give him enough insight to ask a GP for help too. Thinking of you.

Hassled Mon 17-Aug-09 21:48:49

I don't think (and I may well have missed it) that you say at any point that you love him. It does sound like he has some serious self esteem issues and while he may well get through them, he's going to have to acknowledge that they are his problems. He's doing the classic transference thing - blaming you when really, I can't see you've done much wrong.

The cream thing is all a bit iffy to me (I wouldn't be happy with my partner doing that), but unless you've radically changed since you first met, he should know what you're like and that it didn't mean anything. So he's blaming you for his unhappiness, and creating conflict to distract from his own issues.

If you love him, if you have the strength, if he's prepared to put some effort into his issues then it may well be solveable. Otherwise - move back to the UK as planned and see what happens. I'm sorry.

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 21:49:36

No I'm not happy, haven't been for ages, but wanted DD to be happy. I suppose I thought I was doing the right thing by her. I'm so confused by all this - I've turned a blind eye / glossed over a lot of things so she was happy, but he cant/wont do the same. Nothing major - he doesnt hit me or anything, just silly things that I thought weren't worth it. Like the social life thing I suppose, thought it was a small price to pay.

I didnt expect hearts and flowers all the time, and sometimes its great, just not as often as before. I love my in-laws and DSD and didnt want to lose all them. I will now.

And poor DD. I have to push H to see/phone DSD. I dont think he'd bother if I didn't, I MSN most days and have just had her and a mate to stay for a month - all arranged by me. Who will push him to see DD? God she's gonna be heartbroken.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 17-Aug-09 21:49:55

He sounds like a parasite and a loser TBH. He wants you to earn all the money and service him sexually, and he is trying to isolate you from other people - this is what abusers do. Why on earth should you have to give him a 'payoff' if you don't want to be in a marriage with him any more?

QuintessentialShadows Mon 17-Aug-09 21:54:28

What is your husband actually doing for you? You earn the money, you pay for childcare, he gets drunk and abusive? How is this a great family life?

He sounds like a parasite, I agree with SGB on that one.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 17-Aug-09 21:58:47

I don't think it is your fault.

I think your husband wants out and is trying to instigate it.

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 22:11:04

SGB, the 'payoff' thing is complicated. When he left work he received a lump sum. We put that away and haven't touched it. When I leave in 3 years I will also get a lump sum (its the reason he persuaded me to go back to work).

1 yr ago I had a compensation pay-out (bad work related accident that spoilt my career choices). That is also in the bank.

With both our lump sums and my comp we could have bought a house mortgage free. We both get pensions, so we would be able to 'choose to work' instead of having to.

He said he wants 'his' lump sum and some of the comp. I thought the figure was a little steep, but he hasn't really worked in 4 yrs whilst doing childcare, so I figured it was probably fair. With my lump sum/pension in 3 yrs I could hopefully still afford a smaller house, and I also have the option to work an extra 2 years in the same contract to bolster it up if needed (not that I want to - I really cant wait to leave).

The sex thing really is an issue though - I think my libido ran away with my figure after having DD. Some of it is drink related tho' - he drinks every evening, so we only do it in the day. If DD wont nap, we cant do it (although have used bathroom floor before now) I dont really want to have sex these days and am tired all the time, but once a week seems to keep him happy.

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 22:18:05

QS, He did do some childcare. He was at home with DD from when she was 9 months to 2 yrs. Then she went to a nursery for a year or so until last Jun when we moved over here. He had agreed to stay with her till she was 3 but he didn't really enjoy it. He did do some cash in hand building work in that year and was in the process of retraining when we moved over here.

Over here she had nursery 8-11 but he looked after her from when I went to work at 6am till I got home at 1330.

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Aug-09 22:21:19

I do love him - but I dont know if its enough. If I did fight for our marriage I think it would be for DD more than me - so maybe it's worse than I thought.

I think all the conflict has worn me down. If I do go out without him (and sometimes I have to - work) we end up arguing or he sulks with me - even if I dont drink, so I'm home by 10. He makes me feel guilty. I spend so much time walking on eggshells - I never know what mood he is in and he can flip quite easily.

Shit its gone midnight here and I have to be up at 0530, I'd better go.

Thanks everyone, I really mean it. I will post again tomorrow when I have time to think all this through. I need to work out what I want dont I?


hambler Mon 17-Aug-09 22:30:02

I know we are only hearing one side but he sounds like a spoilt brat and a sponger

picmaestress Mon 17-Aug-09 22:44:40

God are you married to my ex-husband??

Eek, I feel for you. It is hard to see what is actually happening while you're in the middle of it, isn't it? Especially if you're not Mary bleedin Poppins, and any 'bad' behaviour is thrown in your face every five minutes.

He drinks every night and goes to bed at 9.
He's argumentative, paranoid and clearly has anger management issues.
He's controlling of your social situations and is isolating you from your friends.
He's taking tiny disconnected incidents and twisting them into a barrage of abuse to throw at you.
He's convinced everything is your fault, he never says what he means, and he lies to try and manipulate you.
Well, it's not great is it?

I'm really not convinced that all of the above is caused by depression.
Maybe he's unconsciously flailing around for a way out?
It's not how happy marriages work, that's for sure. Agreed, try the counselling, but his behaviour is totally out of control, you must believe that. It's not you.
Get some counselling for yourself at the very least, and do it quickly: this week if poss, before you make any decisions. I think you might be surprised at how you actually feel once you talk about it with someone.

Hope you're okay.

Oh, and stop worrying about the practicalities. Lawyers will sort the money out fairly, and you won't lose contact with anyone. Chances are everyone knows how badly he's behaving, and you will have a lot of sympathy.

Snorbs Mon 17-Aug-09 23:25:38

How much is he drinking every night?

The reason I ask is that there are some eerie parallels between what you wrote and what my relationship with my ex was like. I'd get accusations about having affairs (albeit I'd never done anything like your nipple incident) and wild accusations about all sorts of crap to be honest. It was a relationship that lurched from drama to crisis to drama.

It became clear that my ex is an alcoholic. Too much booze can cause depression, paranoia, wild mood swings and all sorts of other problems. Living with an alcoholic for a long time can seriously mess up your own idea of what is "normal". While I'm not saying that my ex's alcoholism was the sole cause of all the problems in the relationship, and neither am I saying that I'm some kind of saint. What I am sure of is that my ex's alcohol problems was the primary cause of the most serious problems we had while also making it impossible to resolve them while the drinking continued.

BitOfFun Mon 17-Aug-09 23:51:22

I think Snorbs is onto something there.

I also think that you should look at your move as a fresh start and focus on building a happy life with your daughter away from all this aggro- he sounds just exhausting to be around.

Oh, and you should see a solicitor when you get here before msking any promises about money- don't let him guilt you into a decision which could leave you and dd short.

LtEveDallas Tue 18-Aug-09 07:04:08

Thank you for all your replies, mind you, I think I'm more confused than ever!

I'm not sure why I bothered going to bed, I couldnt switch off and am shattered today.

I've started wondering about a couple of new things now:

Leeka mentions him not wanting to back down. I think this is a real possibility. In all the years together I think I have heard him say 'sorry' maybe 5 times - and each time only because I have pushed the issue. He then says that I never say I'm sorry - I do, all the time, TBH even when I'm not, just to stop the rowing. I have admitted things that aren't true just to clear the atmosphere - and he is always so pleased that he was 'right'.

Also the drink thing is a big issue for me. I had an alcoholic sibling, and eventually it killed him, so I know I am probably over sensitive where alcohol is concerned, but I do wonder if H has a problem. He drinks, every night without fail. When we first met it was 2 or 3 pints with his mates, now it is between 4 and 6 cans of larger, on his own at home. Is that too much? I think I've lost perspective on this, so I dont know if IABU. He has his first drink at about 5, and last one between 8 and 9. He then goes to bed. He slurs his words and snores badly. Quite often he drinks instead of eating, goes to bed, then gets up around midnight and eats whatever I have left made earlier, before going back to sleep on the sofa. He says that he doesnt have a problem and that I am just oversensitive.

Another thing is the way he slags people off, people that he is friendly to usually suddenly become 'users' or 'freeloaders' or he'll say something like 'I dont really like him, but who else have I got'. This upsets me. I dont have very many 'old' friends as we move around a lot, but I am very loyal to friends I do make - I hate it when I hear him talking down about them. He also slags off my family, but I'm sure that is only to get a reaction from me.

LtEveDallas Tue 18-Aug-09 07:05:30

shit, I've done that long post thing again, and believe it or not there's more! Sorry, I'll give it a rest for now. blush

picmaestress Tue 18-Aug-09 08:07:11

He is drinking way too much. Most non-alcoholic people only drink at the weekends or on special occasions. Drinking every day until you are drunk is a serious problem. BUT I do think you need to be wary of blaming his behaviour on something convenient. In my opinion he's an unhappy man, and the depressive behaviour and over-drinking are symptoms of that, not causes. He sounds really messed up, but I'm not convinced he's an alcoholic, or if he is, that's not what is causing his alarming behaviour.

It's incredible how similar he is to my ex. The slagging people off sounds very familiar, as is the laziness and downright refusal to admit anything could be his fault.

(Eventually I was so confused and exhausted and fed up with life revolving around him that I upped and left. I couldn't see a future and I had lost all of my hope. I wanted to die, he made me feel so shit about myself hmm. The conclusion I came to is that he is a wonderful, damaged, difficult selfish man who is impossible to live with. I still love him, but I deserve a future, and I refuse to live in constant fear any more.)

I'm not advocating you do that, as I would never give anyone strong advice, but I do think you should see a counsellor. That's the only thing that helped me.

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