Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Is this much confidence misplaced?(38 Posts)
Dh and I have been together forever. Married 17yrs this October. Lived together 6 yrs before that. We met when we were very young and have been together ever since, apart from a break when I was at university.
I have a supreme confidence in my marriage. I don?t mean it doesn't go wrong from time to time and I do feel pissed off with DH at times, but fundamentally it's OK. And I have this overwhelming belief that if the marriage ends it will be because I end it. It's in my hands. I am never jealous of DH. It has never occurred to me to be so. I don't see the need to pander to him to keep him on side - if I do things to please him it's because I want to make him happy, not because I am afraid he will leave me or be unfaithful. That doesn't mean I don't love him, it just means that I don't ever imagine he will break the rules. And if he did I can't quite shake the feeling that I'd manage perfectly well without him. All this comes from the deep down fact that I think he is bloody lucky to have me. Which sounds supremely arrogant but it's true. There isn't anyone who knew DH years ago who wouldn't agree that without me he was going down the pan - bad childhood, no future, no plans.
I have never questioned this feeling of mine but having seen other marriages break down, some of which were marriages that everyone assumed were carved in stone, I do wonder now whether I have my head in the clouds. That I shouldn't be so sure of myself. And isn't it natural to have some doubts or concerns - I think that maybe I don't have enough of an emotional investment in the marriage. I don't envy people who go through the mill emotionally in their relationships but surely be so steady and clear-eyed isn't good.
Hmmm....maybe I need a bit more of a buzz from it. It all feel so emotionless iyswim.
I don't think that being so steady and sure is wrong. But the general tone of your post is very arrogant and almost that you consider yourself to be much better than him, rather than equal. I just worry that sometimes, in that sort of situation, he could get fed up being made to feel as though he should be grateful and find himself tempted by someone or something who truly values him rather than making him feel as though he should be 'bloody grateful' to have you!
That aside, i don't see any problems in being certain of the relationship. it would be very sad if nobody ever had confidence that their relationship was going all the way, otherwise why be in it?
Step away from these thoughts. Have you been perusing the relationship threads on here? This would be like a therapist thinking that because all her patients are unhappy most people are unhappy. By definition, people asking for help on online boards have problems - there's not a lot of room for discussion around a chat such as, "DH always comes home from work when he says he will and feeds and bathes the DC at least half the time and remembers to think about the washing and cooking so that I don't have to". It's great - but not that chatty. I work in media and I think the old adage ,"if it bleeds, it leads" apply as much to online forums as they do to newspapers!
There is nothing wrong or delusional about having a happy marriage and being with a man you love and who you are confident loves you. It means that you are both good people, who are clearly right for each other and are able to work together through any problems you may have.
Enjoy it. Don't question it.
He isn't made to feel grateful - I rarely think about it and I never voice it. Whether he sense it from me I don't know.
I don't know what to say. I only hope he has dealt with his childhood issues (you say he had a bad childhood) as it could come back to bite both him and you in the backside. I found this out to my cost - my DH had an affair (both he and I thought this would never happen to us) and it all goes back to his and my childhood issues. It's all down to self esteem and how we were taught to communicate as children or not as the case maybe.
I, too, if I am honest, thought my DH was lucky to have me (though it shames me now) - never, ever take any thing for granted.
Have a good look at your marriage, how you talk to your DH, do you talk down to him in any, small way ? Do you think you may belittle him without realising it ? Do you treat him like a child, even just occasionally ? Was he dominated as a child by a significant adult/s in his family ?
Have a think about it ?
bling - I suspect you are right. It's best not to overanalyse. But when friends are ending and starting new relationships all the time it begins to feel strange. As if our marriage is some ancient relic from the past.
I don't know you and your relationship. But I do know that I think DH should be grateful he's got me. But frankly, I think he thinks that I should be grateful I've got him. That's okay. That's healthy self confidence.
Just one thing - you think you'd be okay if things went away. I thought that too. Until the day DH and I broke up for about 5 minutes 6 months before we got married. then I realised that I was being a bit complacent about my own feelings. You do not spend this much time with a person, and share this much, if you do not love them and get something out of it. even if you're not always conscious of it. And that's especially true of confident people.
Very interesting post!
I don't buy into the school of thought that ALL MEN are hard wired to cheat if the opportunity arises and that you need to watch them out the corner of your eye. Some men have a high moral code which means that they won't stray as they know it's wrong, not because they're not tempted. You don't specifically mention cheating in your post but when you said you can't see him "breaking the rules" that's what comes to mind.
Also I like your point regarding - if he did happen to "mis-behave" you'd cope without him. I too feel like that - I love DH to bits - makes me feel all warm and snuggly just thinking about him - but if he was to leave I'd be okay. I know that. I too know that DH should get on his knees every day and thank God for me being his wife . DH admits that he was going nowhere before he met me and reminding him of his good fortune every now and then does no harm .
I don't think you're being unrealistically level headed - you're aware that your husband is unlikely to do anything silly, but on the off-chance that he does, you know that life will go on. I think that's a healthy way to view an adult relationship. Clearly though until you experience a marital breakdown you don't DEFINITELY know how you'll react - who knows it could really mess you up - but there's no point living your life in fear of everything going wrong is there?
Keep doing what you're doing - it's clearly working for you.
counting - he has partially dealt with the childhood thing. Not entirely though. It's all to do with his father - now dead. But DH would say it was all done and dusted. I don't think it is.
"you're aware that your husband is unlikely to do anything silly, but on the off-chance that he does, you know that life will go on. I think that's a healthy way to view an adult relationship."
I think so too. But I don't know that DH feels the same. I hope he does.
Thanks for all your replies btw.
The reason this has come up now is that we are going out for a picnic with some friends tonight. He has a child with his last partner and was an unofficial step-dad to her 2 boys. Now he is with another woman who has a 2 much older girls and a boy who lives with his father and whom she rarely sees for complicated reasons I don't feel I can pry into. So life isn't simple for them. But they are so in love and ecstatic to be together. And there are times when I look at them I wonder whether passionate instability might be the more attractive option. I suspect not when I have my sensible head on...
I do wonder if I have a weird view on life and if it's all going to come crashing down on me in due course. My parents are still married. Most of my close friends parents are still married. I do know divorced people - DH's parents are divorced and my sister has been married and divorced (she was very young) but is happily remarried to a wonderful man.
Similarly, of my friends, most of those in relationships look pretty stable and good. I have one friend who's marriage I have serious doubts about and I'm sure over the next 20 years there will be a few surprises along the way.
But overall, the people I have spent my life with seem to have fairly stable relationships. Doesn't mean they're easy. Just that they're stable.
I don't think therefore that the default setting is that things go horribly wrong.
At least you are aware of it and that it could possibly be a problem. Knowledge is good - fortunately both me and DH are now aware of everything and that we are both responsible for our marriage and ourselves. I am hoping that I can look back in another 15 yrs (been together nearly 11 yrs) and be grateful for what has been going on in the last 6 months of my life (even though it has been a very traumatic experience for the whole family) as it has made us both make changes for the better
So really, you're not questioning your relationship's stability but whether that's what you want?
counting - I missed that about your DH's affair. So sorry I guess you learned the hard way how bad that feels. You see that makes me question my complacency.
passionate instability... in YOURSELF, or in your marriage?
bling - yes, maybe. The feeling I have is that emotionally we are stagnant for want of a nicer word. And it is a good thing in many many ways for the obvious reasons. But is it all good?
Both mp. I tend to be sensible. And so is our marriage.
Contented most of the time. Happy, yes very happy sometimes but it isn't my marriage that makes me so usually. Life quite often makes me happy. My marriage provides the stability to let the happiness happen.
God this is self-indulgent bilge isn't it. Sorry.
Do you feel you are MISSING the passion?
Are you having a mid-life crisis and want to run off with the gardener's boy or something like that?
Reading your OP you sound confident and I don't think that's a BAD thing. I worry more about people who are convinced that they would fall to pieces if their partners left them...
Join the discussion
Please login first.