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Could really do with some advice - thinking of asking DH for a separation

(14 Posts)
pollycazalet Mon 02-Nov-09 09:58:32

Have been with DH 20 years but am thinking of asking him to leave for a few weeks so I can get my thoughts straight.

I have lost sight of what he contributes to my life. The chldren's lives, yes, he is a great Dad, very hands on. But I don't feel supported emotionally or practically. I feel as though I put everyone else's needs before my own. He will help but I always have to ask. He never initiates anything. He knows I am not happy but won't be the one to start a conversation.

I would love to be surprised by him. For him to sort out some annoying DIY issue at home (there are loads) book me a massage, arrange to take the kids out for the day so I have some time to myself, buy me flowers. Is that ridiculous? I do these things for him.

We have got through lots of bad times - bereavement, illness, an affair (his). I don't expect hearts and flowers constantly but I don't feel cared for at the moment. I don't feel supported. And I don't want to have to tell him to care for me and support me any more, I want him to feel it and do it.

I want some time on my own to see whether I really want to be with him, whether I miss him. It would be v upsetting for the children and feels like a selfish thing to do. Whay would you do?

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 02-Nov-09 10:03:30

I think going straight to asking him to leave is a bit harsh, to be honest. It sort of cuts out a whole load of other possible options.

Can you not initiate a conversation with him first about the state of your marriage, and talk to him about how unhappy you are?

Sorry, by the way, that you're going through this. sad

pollycazalet Mon 02-Nov-09 10:09:21

I can talk to him but the thought of it makes me feel exhausted. He can't take any critisicm so he will feel 'got at', get annoyed, storm off, then think about it for a while, then come back and tell me I'm right. Then things will improve temporarily, and go back to how they are now.

It's been like this for 20 years.

pollycazalet Mon 02-Nov-09 10:10:14

criticism. doh

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 02-Nov-09 10:10:30

What about independent counselling - maybe he'll take that a bit more seriously?

Hassled Mon 02-Nov-09 10:12:00

Some men (and women) are just never going to do the spontaneous gesture thing. They assume that because they know they love and care about someone, the other person just somehow knows that as well. So don't confuse the lack of signs taht he cares with him not actually caring. But giving the history of the affair etc., he does have a responsibility to make you feel secure and to show that he gives a shit.

Talk to him - spell out exactly how you feel. It may be that a separation is what you need, but you need to have a good long chat first.

HappyWoman Mon 02-Nov-09 10:12:51

it sounds as if you just want him to change a bit - so i would suggest asking him or even telling what it is you need to be happy from now on.

It does sound as if you have put everyone else first though - but why cant you do those things for yourself? Afterall if you were to seperate you would be doing those things for yourself.

I would suggest buying yourself flowers and if your h asked why just say it is because you like to have flowers. Book yourself a massage - do things for you for a change.

Good luck

pollycazalet Mon 02-Nov-09 10:17:12

hassled - I do get that peole are different and that people can care without big gestures. I don't want to sound like a petulant toddler stamping my foot for presents!

But surely when we live with someone who 'models' (for want of a better word) caring behaviour some of that would rub off?

pollycazalet Mon 02-Nov-09 10:20:39

I do buy myself flowers! It's not about the gift - it could be anything (eg 'you look tired, sit down and I'll make you a cup of tea and then put the kids to bed')

I have told him all this before. It's not a new issue. The new thing is I don't feel I have the energy to talk again about it any more.

Hassled Mon 02-Nov-09 10:25:19

You sound at the end of your tether and I do understand where you're coming from. It's just human nature to want some sort of tangible sign that you're loved and appreciated.

But you do need to talk to him - and start the conversation by saying that if he storms off then you'll take it as a sign that he really doesn't care. Pre-empt the storming off thing. He does sound like bloody hard work.

Aussieng Mon 02-Nov-09 10:29:13

It is not clear to me from your post whether you really want time out or whether you want DH to change.

I know (very well) the frustration of living with someone who will not talk or acknowledge problems and it is horrendous. when I was in this situation I almost felt like I was going crazy, being unreasonable.

You need to try and think about whether you could manage being on your own and whether this is really what you want because if you force this issue, that is maybe what it will come to - you know that Beautiful South Song, "a little time"? It may end up not being your choice if DH is unhappy too and just avoiding the issue.

The flip side to that is you need to think, if your DH is really never going to change, do you want this to be your life for the rest of your life?

pollycazalet Mon 02-Nov-09 10:31:53

Thanks Hassled. he is hard work. He's had depression in the past so he can be difficult to deal with.

I just don't know if I love him any more, I think that's the point. I have worked hard at our relationship because I loved him and wanted to be with him. But I am scared I don't feel that way now - it's been worn away. I am tired of asking for what I need all the time.

And I don't feel that I can tell how I feel when we're in the middle of our life together - the day to day gets in the way of really looking at how you feel.

pollycazalet Mon 02-Nov-09 10:55:39

Aussie I think I want time out. I want to see what it might be like on my own.

jazzygirl Tue 03-Nov-09 13:57:44

I think you know the answer to this one deep down. I am sad for you that you're in this situation. From what I'm reading, it's a bit deeper than just wanting geestures. If he can't give you the love and support you need and deserve then maybe space is exactly what you need.

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