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DH wants to leave - is it time to accept my marriage is over?

(31 Posts)
ConfusedBunny Sat 10-Oct-09 10:51:20

Things have been pretty rubbish with dh since dd was born (she's 2 now) - although I thought things were getting better recently. When dd was a baby we used to argue all the time over petty things but recently we've been more civil to each other. There's no intimacy at all though and I am convinced dh doesn't love me anymore - dh is equally convinced I don't love him. If I try and show him any affection he pushes me away to the point where I stop trying. Then he complains that I don't give him any affection but when I point out that he doesn't reciprocate he tells me it's my fault for pushing him away in the past (e.g. while pregnant). We don't talk much and when we do DH often speaks to me as though I'm a complete waste of space - giving me orders and telling me how to do things - I let him get away with it so as not to cause a row. Although sometimes things are ok - if we have an evening out we can have a good chat without winding each other up.

Every so often we have huge conversations about whether we want the marriage to work and we both agree that we do but apparently the onus is on me to change - I try to do what he wants (basically be more thoughtful) but it doesn't seem to make any difference. DH suffers from depression, which doesn't help, but he won't see a doctor or take ad's.

Things came to a head again yesterday when he started yelling at me (he was stressed because dd is teething again and was crying) and then he told me he wanted to leave, he just couldn't work out how to. I don't know whether he meant financially or because he didn't want to leave dd. He's said before that he doesn't know whether he would be with me anymore if it wasn't for dd but this is the first time he's been so blunt about leaving.

I really don't want him to go but I am miserable living like this and I don't know whether I should just accept that it's over. I suspect he wants me to tell him to go so that even that decision becomes my fault as well.

We had another row this morning when I upset him over something minor and he has just rung to apologise.

I'm so confused. More than anything I'm worried about the effect on dd - is it better for her that we stay together and let her think this is the way a marriage should be? Or should we separate? Would that have a worse effect now when she's 2? Or would it be worse if we separated when she's older and able to rationalise more?

CarGirl Sat 10-Oct-09 10:54:09

Would he go to Relate with you, perhaps you both need to learn to communicate with each other honestly and differently to how you are now and have a strategy to intimate again?

Sortin gyour relationship out will be better than divorce but if you can't sort your relationship out it may be better to part.

Doodleydoo Sat 10-Oct-09 10:58:41

How horrible for you - i really feel for you. It doesn't sound like he is giving you a chance to make the marriage work and is making it feel like it is all your fault.

Having a baby is difficult for everyone because it changes the dynamics of your relationship and some men and women can't face that change.

Before seperating I would suggest Marriage Councilling. This would give you an opportunity to see where you could fix problems and how. If there are underlying issues of depression it may also help.

If you decided then to seperate and divorce you would know you have both done your best to achieve this and it may make it all much easier in the long run for you.

Good Luck

ConfusedBunny Sat 10-Oct-09 11:49:54

I don't think he will go for counselling - he's been in the past after his first marriage broke up (pattern emerging here?!?) - and he's never been very complementary about it. We are going to have a chat later when he gets home so I will bring it up and see his reaction.

TDiddy Sun 11-Oct-09 08:36:54

ConfusedBunny sorry to hear; must be so hard for you.

This sounds like one of those marriages suffering from the shock of first child but this one is nearly broken and you need some help to fix it.

If you wouldn't have conselling then can you have some on your own? You could risk being open about it and asking DH if he minds you having some?

Another tactic is each speak to other without interruption for a 5 mins about their perspective. Each must come up with 3 things for the other to focus on/improve. And agree to revisit weekly for a the first few weeks.

Tell him that he are much less concerned with whose fault it is and that both of you have fallen into bad habits and that you are looking for help/ways to fix it. Basically, you have to rebuild the team spirit that you have lost. Does he play any sport? Can you train for a 10k together. That would help his depression but also running together is a great way of team building. Can you play tennis or badminton together. I think some sport together could really help as well.

Best wishes

ConfusedBunny Fri 16-Oct-09 20:20:30

TDiddy - that's an interesting thought - hadn't come up with the idea of playing sport together (though I am the world's least sporty person!)

I chickened out of talking about counselling - he apologised when he got home and we had another chat but tbh it was exactly the same as all the other 'chats' we have - i.e. everything would be all right if I stopped doing things to annoy him. Digging a little deeper on this it seems that everything I do annoys him (including how I put bread in the breadbin that afternoon).

I'm starting to wonder whether this is actually emotional abuse? DH is charming to friends and family but he is angry, or at best cold, towards me in private (though I am convinced he would never get violent). This evening dd lost it completely over something really minor (and illogical) as she's been at my parents all day and refused to have a nap so she was shattered. DH came downstairs with a look of absolute rage and said through gritted teeth "I do not expect my daughter to be screaming her head off when I come home". It was so 1950s I just stared at him in disbelief. He got even angrier, accusing me of laughing at him, and is now sulking upstairs.

Other things springing to mind - I have tried to be affectionate several times a day this week but he hasn't responded once and if I ask for a hug tells me "not just now". So much for him missing the affection. He rarely says please/thank you to me - he tells me regularly that I do things wrong. He's criticised me a couple of times recently in front of friends. I am scared to tell him things - I've had to tell him today that the car needs to go to the garage for an hour on Monday because a warning light won't go off - he spent half an hour stomping round slamming doors and complaining that life just gets worse and worse. A friend of mine has organised a few of us to go out for a meal in a few weeks - nothing major, no drinking as we'll all be driving, just a quick bite to eat - but I can't bring myself to tell him that it's even arranged because I'm scared of his reaction (he won't tell me I can't go but I can't predict whether he will be ok with me going or not). He's clarified that the reason he can't work out how to leave me is because of dd. He's asked me whether I'm having an affair (I'm not - and he's got no reason to think I am). He's also told me he really has to make a big effort to be nice to dd - that does scare me.

I have sympathy with him - he had a rubbish childhood thanks to his mum, and he's already had one marriage fail. He's told me he's thought of suicide so I'm worried that if we do split up he will go through with that and dd will be left without a dad.

Sorry for venting. Still don't really know how to handle this.

Northernlurker Fri 16-Oct-09 20:27:32

He hasn't seen a doctor has he? He sounds very down and I don't think you are going to get anywhere till that improves a bit. It's obviously no good you asking him to go so get someone else involved that you trust. His mum doesn't sound hopeful - does he have a relationship with his dad - or siblings? Or a best mate that can support him in getting the medical help he needs. His reactions are NOT normal at this point.

Then I think you need to think very hard about even if his mood improves is this where you want to be for the next 40 years - is it worth putting a lot of time in? Don't get me wrong, I believe in marriage and in sticking with these things - but there has to be an upside for you too or the effort you'll make just won't be sustainable.

ConfusedBunny Fri 16-Oct-09 20:36:33

He hasn't seen a doctor, no. If I even bring up the subject the defences come down and he won't even discuss it. Yes, I might be able to get someone else to talk to him - even thinking about that has brought me out in tears of hope - I've not talked about any of this with anybody in rl and he would hate me for doing so, but he hates me anyway (or treats me as though he does) so what have I got to lose?

I honestly don't know at this point whether it would be worth sticking with him even if he got better. I'd have to wait and see how I felt I suppose.

BonsoirAnna Fri 16-Oct-09 20:39:03

When you get to the point where every little thing annoys you about the other person, you don't love them anymore, IMVHO. It is just a sign that their very being annoys you...

spursmummy Fri 16-Oct-09 20:46:00

I feel really sorry for you, it must be so hard. You need to do what's best for you and your dd - if you're having to be careful all the time about what you say and do, make all the effort and tread on eggshells all the time it's giving your dd a very skewed idea of what relationships are like and it sounds like you wouldn't want to put her through what you're going through. Is there a friend of his you could talk to and see if he could stay with them? Maybe actually moving out would make him realise what he's missing out on and give him the impetus he needs to get some help. It'd also give you some breathing space to think about what you want to do next. Good luck.

ConfusedBunny Fri 16-Oct-09 20:53:04

Part of the problem is that I just don't know what's best for dd. DH is a really good dad and dd adores him - yet she's seeing a terrible example of a marriage and even if that's not affecting her now it must be leaving an imprint of how she thinks things should be iyswim. If we get rid of the bad stuff then she'll lose so much of the good stuff along with it.

TotalChaos Fri 16-Oct-09 20:57:24

you say he's such a great dad but then he's saying how he has to make a big effort to be nice to her, and getting so furious at normal 2 year old tantrums. it all sounds very grim, even if he is clinically depressed, it's not an excuse, particularly if he'd rather make you miserable than get help. do you feel he's made any effort to improve things or is it all about your perceived faults?

megmums Fri 16-Oct-09 21:28:56

Sounds like a nightmare, and a bit like my life. We have also had the post first child problems (including H having an affair and online sex).

H is a good dad, when he isn't tired or wanting to read his paper in peace. Maybe it is the maternal instinct that makes us give up everything for our children, that men don't have?

Sorry if i am generalising. I am toying with the idea of leaving my H, I mean so my dd will miss him and him her, but if a marriage can't be fixed it will only show dd that being married is a negative destructive experience? I don't think it is a decision to be made in haste though, take your time - that way you won't have any regrets.

ConfusedBunny Fri 16-Oct-09 21:31:36

I've just had a chat with him because I was getting really upset at the thought that he might do something stupid. I was really calm - had dried my tears. He told me I shouldn't "worry my little head" about him topping himself - that he would always try to do what was best for dd. I suggested he go to a doctor for dd's sake - that his depression would have an affect on her as she grew older. He told me it was all my fault but clearly I wouldn't accept that because I was so perfect. He accused me of saying he was a waste of space (I didn't), that I was trying to insult him by saying he didn't have dd's best interests at heart, that I didn't love him and never have, and that maybe if I'd decided years ago what was important in life things would be better.

I feel a bit weary now.

ConfusedBunny Fri 16-Oct-09 21:33:17

megmums - xposted. Sorry you're going through a similar thing - at least I've not had to deal with an affair. Thanks for your thoughts - I hope things work out for you. How old is your dd? (so how long have you been dealing with this?)

megmums Fri 16-Oct-09 21:40:22

Dd is nearly 2 (i think you said yours is too?) and the online chatting started a few weeks after she was born - i saw an email just 10 days after the birth - he signed up to an online chat/flirt site citing he was 'bored and wanted to know more'. Then going through phonebills brought out more evidence angry

I thought it had ended then it started AGAIN 10 months later! So i told him i would leave if he did it again.

I see couples who appear so happy, the doting dad - i just wish i could have a H like that!

My H is depressed too and won't go to doctor - says he just needs space 'to sort his head out'. I think he is clinically depressed and needs ad or counselling, and preferably both. How do we get men to seek help when feeling like this?

itsmeolord Fri 16-Oct-09 21:45:56

He sounds really quite ill.

Unfortunately though, you can't force someone to get help as an adult, if he won't recognise that he is the problem here then I think you have to ask yourself why you are staying.

I know that mostly, society says we are supposed to have endless sympathy for a depressed partner but if that partner, that adult refuses help at all turns then there is nothing you can do for them.

It seems that you have bent over backwards to change to accomodate this man but it hasn't worked/been noticed at all.

You don't have to stay, he can still be a good father if you live apart.
You sound so unhappy and confused. sad

megmums Fri 16-Oct-09 21:48:59

Yes, i think it is right to be supportive of a depressed partner. But if they do idiotic things as a result of depression, and always treat you like crap without acknowledging that it is the depression that it causing their attitude, then you should not have to put up with it - the emotional abuse, when they won't seek help.

SolidGhoulBrass Fri 16-Oct-09 21:55:28

FFS love your marriage will not be fixed by you doing everything he tell you to do while he continues to piss and moan and throw his weight about. You're unlikely to be perfect but he isn't the perfect innocent either. He sounds pretty self-indulgent, and all this 'I want to leave but I can't' sounds like 'Oh, I'm a bit fed up, but I want you to carry on cooking and cleaning for me while I dangle the threat of leaving over your head to make you jump faster and sit up and beg every now and again'.

ilovemydogandmrobama Fri 16-Oct-09 21:55:43

Doesn't sound like trying to work things out when he's angry/calming down is successful.

When he's rational, what's it like talking to him, or is he always moody?

And what about you? You seem to be so concerned about him and his needs and how he is feeling. What sorts of things make you happy, and more to the point, is he making you happy?

ConfusedBunny Fri 16-Oct-09 21:58:10

megmums - yes my dd is 2 - so sorry you've had to go through dh having an affair. I wish I knew how to get dh to get help. DH's depression kicked in when dd was born - I firmly believe it was the stress of a new baby that triggered it - the last time he had it it was following his divorce and it was successfully treated with ad's. I can't understand why he won't use them again.

itsmeolord - yes I am struggling with this and I do feel as though I've tried everything I can. These last few days are the first time I've actually seriously considered us being apart - I've always had a knee-jerk reaction against it - it still seems such a big scary decision though.

ConfusedBunny Fri 16-Oct-09 22:07:35

x-posts. SolidGhoulBrass - to be fair I am the one who goes out to work (part-time) and he does most of the housework. He more than pulls his weight in that respect so it's not as though he's got me running round after him all the time.

ilovemydog - most of the time he is moody. We do have civil conversations but if I try and talk to him about this stuff then, it quickly turns ugly.

I'm not very happy at the moment - he certainly doesn't make me happy any more - in fact I am happier when he's out of the house. DD makes me happy. It's weird, I think of myself as a happy person but I can't think of anything else to put. Am going to cry again now.

ConfusedBunny Fri 16-Oct-09 22:08:33

So if I'm not happy why is it such a difficult decision to split up?

The person dh used to be made me happy.

itsmeolord Fri 16-Oct-09 22:10:30

Whats scary about it? Try listing out all the pros and cons for going and staying.

I just think that life is too short to be spending so much of it pandering to someone who drags you down constantly.

Sorry, I'm not trying to get you to leave, I am trying to say in an awfully clumsy way that sometimes it's not up to you to fix things.

SolidGhoulBrass Fri 16-Oct-09 22:30:29

Oh love, his 'depression' sounds like it means ' Oooh, waah, all of a sudden my partner is not putting me first all the time, she's actually thinking about something else so I'm going to stamp my foot and sulk because I'm the important person here.' So his first wife left him (maybe because he was a selfish, sulky arse?) and now you have a baby to look after and he has to take turns and share, so he's acting up.

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