Advanced search

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.

Does anyone else fantasise about leaving?

(36 Posts)
donttormentyoursister Thu 22-Oct-09 13:25:23

I wondered whether anyone else feels like this about their relationship? I have been a lurker here for years, and have actually met up with a couple of mners (albeit a couple of years ago). I have therefore name-changed for this post.

We?ve been together for six years. Have two dc?s. No money worries, and we live a comfortable life. For the past year or so, I have, with more and more frequency (usually after arguments), fantasised about separating. It seems to me that my life, and the lives of my children, would be better without my partner living with us.

My partner is not a bad person. But he is difficult to live with, and controlling (of me and the children). Unfortunately, he absolutely refuses to believe that he can be unreasonable and hard work. I think this may, in part, be because our backgrounds and experiences of family life are very, very different. Subsequently, our ideas on what makes a good partner/parent can be poles apart. I have twice suggested counselling, but he won?t agree to it.

The purpose of me initiating this post, is to find out whether anyone else has the same thoughts about starting a new life without their partner? Is it normal to feel like this, and still be able to have a relationship which is worth working at?

Maybe I am just being completely selfish, and thinking about what would be best for me, whilst disregarding my partner and my children?s feelings. He is generally a good father, and I do understand that long term relationships require work, and will inevitably go through ups and downs.

I feel my life is at a complete crossroads, and would really appreciate some opinions on this. Thank you.

notaloud Thu 22-Oct-09 13:39:18

Yes. I could have written your post.

Is there anything more specific? When you say controlling, how so? Are things getting worse, or about the same over time?

Do you love him?

donttormentyoursister Thu 22-Oct-09 13:56:38

Notaloud - thanks so much for replying. Your questions have already brought a tear to my eye!

That's the problem really. There is nothing specific. I just don't think we're very well suited. He is controlling, and he admits that he has been accused of being so in previous relationships. I am stubborn, and I fight being controlled. He just cannot understand why I sometimes want to do things my way.

Conversely, he hands over responsibility to me for everything. Then, I get criticised when I do things differently to how he wants things done. For example, when dealing with any tradespeople, he will focus on the one question I didn't remember to ask, and this will begin an argument followed by a general slagging off about my general incompetence. If I tell him I really need his help/input in such situations, he refuses to help me.

I suppose I'm tired of never being quite good enough. It's always been this way. So more fool me for having a family with him.

Is your experience anything like this? Do you have dc?

As for loving him. I don't know.

justlikestartingover Thu 22-Oct-09 14:09:15

My ex-p was a bit like this, it was like fighting with a toddler! I was expected to guess how he'd like things done and then he'd nitpick and throw a strop if it wasn't quite right. Well I don't think he'd have been happy if he'd been going out with Derren bloody Brown.

He did do a lot of work on it and became a nicer person after I found out he'd had an affair, but sadly it was too late - the bad behaviour wears you down and makes you lose confidence, doesn't it? Let alone what it does for your love for them... By the end I just felt that the whole infidelity thing was a final manifestation of his overriding selfishness as I was a perfect partner adn even he admitted there was nothing wrong, he was just never happy with anything despite it being better than what most people we know had.

Feeling like you are not good enough is how he controls you - now I look back on it as EA-lite with a spicy hint of narcissism

roundwindow Thu 22-Oct-09 14:20:20

Hi dontormentyoursister, (that reminds me, I must ring my sister to firm up arrangements for meeting up in half term grin)

I'm in a similar situation to you. I'm not sure how much use I can be because I'm still sitting it out and currently feel pretty uncertain as to the outcome. But you're not alone (and it's nice to know I'm not smile.

I don't think my dh is particularly bad, especially compared to some of the stories on here I've been reading. But we've hit a really rough patch in our relationship and in response to this he does seem perhaps to be just a teensy bit emotionally immature.. flies into rages, resorts to blaming and name-calling, tries to shame me etc. This has made communication about our relationship really difficult and I've become quite worn out by it and feel disinclined to keep persuing these conversations. And I've got to a point where, for various reasons, life just seems to be easier when he's not here. It's peaceful, it's calm, I can rest, I can meet my own needs far better than he can. I can top myself up so that I'm a calmer, kinder parent to the dcs.

For a long time this realisation has frightened me. Like you, I'm battling with feelings of 'am I just being selfish? don't I owe it to the dcs to carry on trying? isn't this what marriage is all about, sticking through the bad times?' etc etc. But it's difficult to ignore this nagging feeling of overloadedness whenever he's here and lightness when he's not.

And it's hard to address because in my case I think he's probably always been the way he is (and he has loads of good points and I do still love him an awful lot). It's me that's changed. My circumstances now mean that my needs are not getting met elsewhere like they used to (social life, fun job, etc.) and I'm emotionally not as available for him as I once was because of it. Plus dc1 has SN and is pretty challenging so I'm really sick of 'making an effort' by the time he's gone to bed.

The main thing as well is that as I've got older I've sort of become a bit more bolshie. So when he did used to fault-find in arguments (not always unjustified, I might add, I'm no angel) I was much more shame-able, much more likely to think 'oh no, he'll leave me if I don't sort myself out'. Now I'm so exhausted I just sort of think 'yeah, you're right. what do you want to do now?' So I expect this has shifted the dynamics in our relationship as well. This makes me wonder if our relationship maybe belongs in the past and is no longer compatible with who I am now sad

Don't know if any of this helps you though, just wanted to share so you know there are others out there wrangling just like you are. We'll be ok in the end, one way or another smile

donttormentyoursister Thu 22-Oct-09 14:25:54

Justlikestartingover - yes, that is it exactly,- he is never happy. He is extremely negative (he admits this, although he would prefer to call it being realistic), and he always concentrates on what is wrong. Just like you say, it wears you down.

Of course, he is constantly telling me how lucky I am, and what an easy life I have! Which does have more than an element of truth to it, but I just wish he would acknowledge that he too has a nice life, and (gasp) show some appreciation.....

I almost feel like if he had an affair, it would give me the excuse I need to get out. I feel like I am considering leaving (and potentially hurting many people, not least my children) for trivial reasons.

donttormentyoursister Thu 22-Oct-09 14:33:47

Yes, roundwindow, thank you for your reply, it does help to know that others feel the same. I was nodding a lot whilst reading it!

I have to do the nursery run now, but will be back this evening. Thanks.

donttormentyoursister Thu 22-Oct-09 16:00:31

Just a quick question for those who have already responded - did any of you consider, or actually try, counselling? Either with your partner/husbands or alone?

I have made contact with a local relate counseller, but have not yet made an appointment. I would have to go alone, as my partner is not interested, so I was just wondering whether any of you had experience of counselling for this type of problem? I was hoping it may help me gain some perspective, and offer a different viewpoint.


notaloud Thu 22-Oct-09 16:23:14

Lots of stuff in this thread feels familiar. too much of it.

I did try RELATE but we were told we couldn't keep going because there had been some domestic abuse. I am not sure how this works in a controlling situation, but I did feel a bit abandoned by them. They said we could go back when DH attended a course.

He came with me to a joint 1 day course, but never did the full course he was meant to and so hence we can't really go back now.

He talks of doing a personality type course together, but to be honest I am not sure that is going to help. Especially not as it will be on his terms.

I would say give Relate a go, but be sure that you both want to do it, and for the right reasons.

I got very desperate a little while ago, but now I just feel numb. Things aren't so bad right now, so I suppose, like you I don't really feel like I have cause to grumble.

Also like you, if someone were to ask me if I loved him, I would also say i don't know. Should it be a hard question to answer? I feel a lot for him, but is that enough?

I too wished for an affair, on either part! (and probably still do) but thats just because things are not right, and you know you don't really want that to happen. Its that you are looking for an excuse to leave. And I know how that feels.

Its limbo. Knowing that things aren't right, but not feeling able to do anything about it. Its apathy really, but I understand why you aren't acting on it.

I had a little cry earlier and had to leave this answer for a while before responding as it was too close to the bone for me to handle.

I can't offer any anwers as if I had them I might be in a different place. i can just offer support and sympathy from someone in the same situation.

NickNemo Thu 22-Oct-09 17:08:55

Yes. I even got to the point where I was budgeting so that me and DD could live on just my salary and squirreling away money just in case.

I have similar issues with my DH, and while I admit I am not the easiest person to live with, there are times when all I want to do is for him to go away. Both of us have issues, but he always makes it sound like I am unreasonable about mine...

We are still together, and probably will stay together, but yes, I have fantasised several times about leaving him. I know I never will though, because whatever said and done, I still love him and I know he loves me too. We'll just have to work the rest out.

justlikestartingover Thu 22-Oct-09 18:14:58

Don't wish for an affair! Seriously, I think that's why we never made it after - even though he did turn into what most people would consider a great partner, once he realised what he was losing. I just felt so humiliated.

I'd put up with so much crap over the years and eaten it all up with very little complaint to make the dc's life as good as it could be, but that was the final nail and I could never forgive him. Being called 'stupid' and 'ignorant', having him chuck stuff on the floor in front of me because I'd apparently slighted him somehow and telling me to pick it up. Shouting at me till I cried because I'd told ds as a treat he could have the outing of his choice in half term (which ex-p had agreed to), then when I told him what he'd chosen, throwing a fit because it would take 'too much time', but still insisting on coming along with us like the black cloud of doom, even though by then I'd have rather gone alone. Infantile, vile behaviour. Never in front of the kids, though.

SolidGhoulBrass Thu 22-Oct-09 18:19:08

Oh dear it makes me so sad and cross to see women resign themselves to living like this. Get rid of these fucknuggets, they are not your bosses, not your owners, and you have every right to live happily and do what you want, without some nobber stamping his feet and constantly reminding you that you are only a service appliance and should know your place.

justlikestartingover Thu 22-Oct-09 18:23:54

Damn right SolidGhoul! Once you wake up it really makes you angry that you put up with all that. And I had a good offer from an ex a four years ago but as I am a decent human being I cut all contact and turned him down immediately. The moral high ground is a dull and lonely place. Staying put does not make you the better person, it makes you a mug. angry

womblemeister Thu 22-Oct-09 19:04:48

I could've written some of your posts DTYS. My DH is an eternal pessimist, overcritical, negative and ever so slightly anal. Sense of humour seriously lacking.

In answer to your original question, yes I had feelings like yours for a long time and in August we even discussed separation seriously. And your second question: we realised we did have something worth fighting for. The basic problem was that we were not having any fun together.

my DH's negativity and nitpicking used to do my head in big time, then I started taking the mickey e.g. by nicknaming him the Financial Controller (he gets uptight about money), inspecting the car for scratches with a magnifying glass before we went anywhere (he used to check it for scratches EVERY time we got in the car and it drove me round the twist) and generally just massively exaggerating and winding him up about all the little behaviours that were affecting our relationship. Stupid things but they can help to defuse a tense situation. Try beating him at his own game wink

ThreeKings Thu 22-Oct-09 19:29:18

This is officially weird. I was planning to post exactly this thread today. Even with the same title hmm

I am sorry you feeling like this too, its really rubbish.

Your story is very similar to mine, execpt my DH doesnt sound quite as controlling as your partner. He is generally good, thoughtful, and good husband but when he gts the arse I just cant stand him.

I regularly fantasise about leaving. I see lovely little houses for sale and fantasise about me and DD living there. I imagine calm pleasant evenings, just being alone with myself with no guilt about not having sex.

I even looked at rental prices today, though I'm not ready to go yet. My child is 7mths old and he is great dad and it seems so wrong to break that. I also know he'd want custody (is just the way he is) so its all so complicated.

As far as I know he doesnt know that I feel like this. But things are quite rubbish at the moment.

I've love relate couselling but he thinks its counselling is people indulging themselves hmm. I may go alone and pretend im doing something else, or seeking help for eating issues.

Sorry- had verbal diarrohea there. Phew, feel better for saying though.

ThreeKings Thu 22-Oct-09 19:41:43

How bad is leaving, the logistics - please can someone tell us?

I know DH would be an arse about it, refuse to speak to me and makes things difficult (like he did with previous relationships)

donttormentyoursister Thu 22-Oct-09 20:03:48

Wow, I'm surprised at the number of responses. Thanks for being honest.

Notaloud - I am so sorry this is upsetting you, and that you find yourself in a similar position. It also sounds like you have tried to make it work,- counselling etc. I don't know either whether it is enough to feel alot for someone without knowing whether you love them....

Justlikestartingover - your ex sounds horrid, and I understand entirely why you left and why you are angry that you put up with his behaviour. My situation is, in my eyes, different in that my P is difficult, but not a complete arse (or a fucknugget - great phrase, though!!). He has good points as well, but I'm just so tired of being dictated to. Disclaimer: I am not the easiest person to live with either, but nor do I pretend to be.

Womblemeister - your DH does sound very similar to my P. I like your use of humour to highlight his silliness, maybe I should give it a try. Can I ask - when you discussed separation with your DH, was he very keen for that NOT to happen? And did he understand how annoying he had become? I genuinely think if I said I was thinking of leaving, my P wouldn't put up much of a fight...

Threekings - mmmmm, that's a bit weird. Yep, I've done the whole sourcing of properties that look perfect for just me and the DC. I've even looked at local schools.

cheapskatemum Thu 22-Oct-09 22:57:00

I'm glad I'm not alone on this one. My DCs are older and I have to say that a controlling, nitpicking DH finds parenting teenagers difficult and I'm fed up of mediating.

I have found couselling a Godsend. I was offered it through CAMHS as DS2 has SN, but actually spent most time talking about relationship with DH. Second lot of couselling was offered because I was suffering work-related stress, but through counselling realised that though work was hard, it was DH's attitude that was giving me stress! (He was unemployed at time, I posted about it on here).

BEAUTlFUL Thu 22-Oct-09 23:01:13

I could have written your post 6 months ago. DH was so critical, but in a weird, silent way: he'd never say "That's awful" but was just, somehow, so reserved and quiet that I found myself anticipating his every thought, feeling or opinion before he'd had it. I really don't know why. It got to the stage where I couldn't buy anything without working myself into a frenzy trying to guess what he'd think of it. Even stuff purely for me. I was vv anxious about everything, rarely went out, ate loads and was vv shouty.

I thought it was just me, but a Mum friend drunkenly admitted that my DH always put her slightly on edge too - made her feel vv self-conscious and silly, just by not doing or saying anything!

Anyway -- I honestly tried everthing to make it work (as anyone who remembers the Surrendered Wife thread wil know! blush) but it never got better. Then, about 2 months ago, DH told me that he wanted us to separate, and I was scared shitless. He left 3 weeks ago. It's bliss! Very hard work looking after the kids, obviously, but oh the freedom.

The hardest bit is letting him take the DC away for his alternate weekends. Everything else I can cope with easily. I was scared he'd be a twunt about stuff (money, access, etc) but he has been very reasonable.

So, from my experience so far (very early ays), it's great. I was just singing in the bath, "I can see clearly now the rain has gone..." That's how I feel. Being a single Mum is physically tiring but mentally liberating.

womblemonster Fri 23-Oct-09 08:19:42

in answer to your question OP yes, he was very keen to avoid separation. I thought we had gone past the point of no return and that the children were being damaged by our constant arguing so it would be better to split up, but then I realised that the main reason I married him was because I wanted a family with him.

He did take on board some of my criticisms, yes, and I also listed my own faults and said that we both had stuff to work on. Then I pointed out that some of his infuriating habits personality traits also annoyed other people so it wasn't just me BU. Better the devil you know?

donttormentyoursister Fri 23-Oct-09 09:54:24

Thanks, again, for taking the time to respond.

Beautiful - I remember your surrendered wife thread! It got quite a response! I also know that I would feel the relief that you have felt if he told me he wanted to go. Like you, the thought of not having my dc at the weekend does make me feel sick. Are your dc coping with the practicalities? I assume you are still in the family home? I don't think my P would move out even if I asked him too......... Another reason why I'm stalling. I too have become very shouty. It's not nice.

Cheapskatemum - thanks for the recommendation regarding counselling, I'm pleased it worked for you. I've made a call to a local counseller, so just waiting to hear back.

Womble.. - mmm, interesting, it must have given new impetus to the relationship when you realised he was so keen to save it. Regrettably, I'm not sure I'm in the same situation. I think if my P were to at least agree to counselling, we might be able to discuss our problems without just descending into name-calling (him, not me).

BEAUTlFUL Fri 23-Oct-09 13:23:32

Hiya, yes the DC are coping fantastically. They are only 6 and 1, but the 6 y/o is fabulous, very cheery and sensible.

I thought DH would never leave, but after we had the chat about being miserable, he suggested we split up but live here, in sep. beds. I was hmm and said No, so he agreed to rent a flat.

It was all so much easier than I'd expected it to be but then, it was driven by him. I suppose you should just be a really crap wife until he wants to leave you!

donttormentyoursister Fri 23-Oct-09 19:41:12

Yes, Beautiful, you are right! Unfortunately, without me even trying to be rubbish, he's already labelled me The World's Crappest Housekeeper. And he is still here!

I am pleased to hear your dc are doing so well. Good for you. You've given me hope grin.

missingtheaction Fri 23-Oct-09 20:01:41

Same as many experiences above. You are perfectly normal.

You said 'The purpose of me initiating this post, is to find out whether anyone else has the same thoughts about starting a new life without their partner? Is it normal to feel like this, and still be able to have a relationship which is worth working at?'

Well, with a divorce rate of nearly 50% there are plenty of people who had thoughts about starting a new life without their partner - every divorce has to start with someone thinking 'hey, I don't have to live like this'.

Do your feelings mean your relationship is definitely over - who knows? I strongly suspect it is. If it makes him happy to make you unhappy then why are you with him? And don't pull the 'good father' thing - he may be good with the kids but a good father doesn't treat the mother of his children like this.

donttormentyoursister Fri 23-Oct-09 20:17:53

Missinginaction - I'm confused by your post, you have had a similar experience with a husband/partner, and you feel that fantasising about leaving is normal - have I understood correctly? Apologies if I'm being dim.

If this is the case,- can I ask if you are still with this person? Have you worked things out?

I think what I was attempting to ask was whether other mners had fantasised about leaving even when they were in healthy relationships.

Either way, you're right about pulling the good father thing. Spot on.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: