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About to make life changing decision

27 replies

Wakemeupwhenitsover · 09/04/2012 20:32

I plan to tell DH this week that I want a divorce. I've not been happy for ages (he knows; largely caused by his behaviour) however I am just so tempted not to say anything, the latest fall-out will blow over and we will carry on as normal until the next time. That's what I always do. But I know deep down I need to leave. It is really hard though.

How did others take the first steps?

OP posts:
thatisall · 10/04/2012 04:18

You could do this for the rest of your life...fall out...blow over....fall out....blow over.
But then what sort of way is that to spend a life.
You need to talk to your dh, maybe he feels the same? Maybe not? maybe couples counselling will help? maybe not?
Either way if you are unhappy enough to be considering just asking for a divorce, then its high time you started a conversation about what is making you unhappy at the very least.

Good luck

HiItsme · 11/04/2012 17:17

Hi, I've been in a similar place - have been to 3 different lots of couples counselling - still same old, same old for years. Talked about separating what would happen, kids, house etc. Finally went to Mediation (cross between counsellor & solicitor, can be free if you qualify), after a few 'counselling' based sessions I said we were still going round in circles & asked what the next step would be if we were to separate. STBX went ballistic, complained about Mediator, so are now having to each go through Solicitors (££'s) I can't continue with Mediator alone. STBX has since said until it was talked about in the meeting he didn't really think I meant it...! so cautionary tale - at least start exploring couples counselling - it's a 'safe' way to get some issues out there & discussed, your DH may be as oblivious as mine (tho doubt it possible!) & if you have fallen into a pattern of behaviours (esp if his was bad) and you continually forgive & accept, it might be working well for him :(
Good luck

Wakemeupwhenitsover · 12/04/2012 20:47

Thank you both for replying. It's taken a while for me to come back to this thread I guess because I'm in denial

thatisall you're right - if I don't go ahead with this I need to do something as things are obviously very bad to be thinking this way. I think in my muddled head I feel that I have a choice between taking the plunge and telling DH of my decision or just carrying on as normal and everything will be fine which is of course daft.

HiItsMe sorry you are in the same predicament. I think my DH is as oblivious as yours. I have mentioned leaving before and never followed it through so DH would get a real shock if I told him I wanted a divorce and he realised I actually meant it.

We have a rare child free weekend coming up and everyone keeps asking if we're going out/away for the weekend etc, which couldn't be further from what I have in mind. A friend has suggested that what we need is some quality time together but I feel the opposite - it would be easy for us to put on an act of the perfect couple for one weekend but as soon as we go back to real life everything would go back to the same


OP posts:
HiItsme · 13/04/2012 15:49

We've been married 28 years Shock & many of those have been unhappy. I have constantly put up with awful situations- for the sake of a quiet life, the kids, not looking bad etc etc.
When it finally gets to you that you have a right to a life not just lived for others and you leave it so long that you feel an idiot for not doing something sooner, there is a whole lot of anger & resentment and feeling of wasted time. I am 50 & looking at my future life, still with commitments & kids (they never really grow up) but with a lot fewer prospects that I would've had if I made this choice 15 years ago.
I know I sound bitter & twisted but if I could go back to a younger me I would tell myself to do something proactive about it.
You can access couples counselling alone as well - i.e; they are specialists in couples issues & you can discuss your concerns with them & if appropriate you can invite your partner to come along at a later meeting if he's willing - & if not, you have an indication of whether he is prepared to face there are problems or ignore them & show that you have to take the lead.
Hope that all makes sense?
Have a look on some of the websites like BCAP & Relate (& if you are Catholic - MarriageCare), you can always have an initial chat too.
Hope all goes well for the weekend

lunalight · 16/04/2012 14:21

I've been unhappy for many years - about 12 and spent most of the time trying to talk to H about it, but he either walks out or shouts. Nowadays he's more likely to talk, but is still defensive and throws back at me.... 'well you....'. We have two lovely children and it'll be a big decision to leave, but I'm getting there. In a way I wish I'd made the decision when I was younger and slimmer and more intact emotionally. I'm now really tired of the silence. When we argued it was better. Don't delay, do it now before life gets more complicated and entrenched...

reluctantmpvdriver · 03/05/2012 13:26

Hi everyone - I am in the same boat and have been gathering the courage to get out too. It is agony and I have got to the point where I am at the end of the tether but I just don't know how to do this - I feel terribly guilty because my H is depressed and whenever I criticise him at all he gets / acts? worse. However I feel that the situation will never change as I cannot change him and I should for my own sake get out but with children and work and living to sort out it all seems so exhausting and may be it is just easier to just keep going on (we rub along ok provided that I don't challenge him).

I am wondering how you are all getting on - and hoping that we can continue to support each other.

liquoriceandtomatoes · 04/05/2012 13:59

Hello everyone

I am also at the life-changing decision time and reading your posts is both sad and helpful, on a personal level I really feel for everyone writing here. Me and my partner are aware that we need counselling but it does seem that things have gone too far to turn back. Our ds is only 18 months but any romance, support, fun and laughter has gone and we're in seperate bedrooms. We can't actually afford to seperate currently as I'm not working and looking after ds but living in a love-less relationship is slowly killing me emotionally. Can counselling turn things around? when my gut says things weren't right before ds but the lack of pressure meant nothing rose to the surface and having a kid makes you realise that. I have problems with guillt too and the fear that it won't be the right choice and the simple fact that I'd be denying ds a family life...... I don't like myself much in this situation, that's going to be hard to move on from.

Anyhow, I'm interested to hear what others say too Wakeme up...

Feckthis · 08/05/2012 06:29


reluctantmpvdriver · 10/05/2012 21:17

HiIts's me - are you still in the relationship or have you got out?

Luna light - 12 years of unhappiness is very upsetting - who is supporting you in helping you get out?

I told my H that I wanted a Divorce last week but he sort of soft soaped me into delaying my decision - feel like I am in unreal territory.

Wakemeup - how did your weekend go? - I seem to keep having pleasant but unreal family times with H as we go through the motions (we even went on holiday lately and had a v pleasant time) while underneath I am so uncomfortable and disparately wanting out. This has been going on for a good 6 months - ie I absolutely realise that this is just pretence.

I have been through relationship counselling but we just cannot seem to communicate and seem to go around and around in circles. I have now started on my own counselling for myself and am hoping that that will give me strength.

BeatenBrow · 11/05/2012 01:27

Sorry have name changed from HiItsMe as it reads like 'hits me' Hmm which he has actually done & yet I've still thought I can fix this/him Sad.

We are still in our strained marriage though trying to go through separation/divorce, we've difficult financial pressures which are adding difficulties to finding resolutions.
But just like you MPV we seem to have an alternate universe which we live in while the kids or other people are around, it was my daughters 22nd B'day last w/end & we had a bbq with our kids & their OHs - all very jolly and civilised Confused.
I think what makes me do it is guilt that I'm driving the change which I know will bring upset & stress to the kids so I try to keep it as 'normal' as possible to prolong whatever family life we have left together.
I know it will only be for a short while longer so it seems a small sacrifice & I just find ways of not being in the same space as him...

reluctantmpvdriver · 11/05/2012 09:11

Beaten - I don't think this is good either - a name that is little more upbeat perhaps :) . Seriously I also have kids and have been trying to keep it ok for them but I know that they know it's not ok. There is an atmosphere and things have changed - it's an elephant in the room and it is obvious that mummy and daddy are not talking about it - which means that the kids will not feel comfortable talking about it - which in turn means that we are teaching them to keep quiet and shut up . I don't think it's good for them at all - all this pussy footing around. But I also feel responsible and to blame for all the stress that will undoubtedly follow as I am going to have to end it - he would never do it.

reluctantmpvdriver · 11/05/2012 09:15

Beaten - another thing - I am also nearly 50. Why do you think your prospects are less - are you talking other men - or jobs?

BeatenBrow · 11/05/2012 10:06

Yes, perhaps names are a reflection of your state of mind - will think on it...
I agree entirely about the falseness of it all, I've worried for many years that even subconsciously the kids realise we are not being genuine as we go through the motions of 'family life' more guilt at leaving it so long!
We did go through a phase a couple of years ago where I reacted how I felt but it was a constant battleground as he never gives an inch & as started this thread he makes it all my fault & unreasonable behaviour that is the problem.. It was so upsetting for my daughter that we called a 'Truce' & agreed to not argue or discuss in front of the children.
The 50 thing is not only a 'milestone birthday' but menopausal problems signify an end to 'that part of your life' . Compounded by the fact Im being made redundant this month (I was saved from "restructure" 2 years ago, but no escaping it this time) & having to go for jobs & feeling shit doesn't help!
Like Luna says Im also no longer young, slim or in my case feeling attractive anymore so men are way down the possibility list :(

BeatenBrow · 11/05/2012 10:37

Sorry suddenly aware that sounded very rude to Luna!! I meant I feel the same low feelings of self worth & I am older & fatter - I'm sure Luna is infinitely more attractive than me - have I dug that hole even deeper? Blush

reluctantmpvdriver · 13/05/2012 20:01

Oh my god beaten brow - we only live once. We are all getting fatter and more worn but I expect there are a lot of fat worn men out there too!! AND We are also wiser and more interesting and mature :) (- not sure that that goes for the men!) Do you find that there is a part of you that just cannot be bothered to split - because it seems SO much WORK? I work, have 3 kids and am just so tired in the evenings that I just don't want to have the conversation - I would rather pretend its all Ok and watch tv from opposite ends of the sofa instead. But surely we owe it to ourselves to be happy. Which means getting off our buts and sorting it one way or another because sure as eggs is.. our H's aren't going to do it.

reluctantmpvdriver · 13/05/2012 22:16

I am sitting here on mumsnet poottling about and avoiding my H who is in the other room sitting in silence. I know I need to talk to him about separating and know that this is my only opportunity until Thursday.. Arrghhh

Anyone else any closer to grasping the nettle?

BryterLayter · 14/05/2012 17:24

Hi, It's me (see what I did there? :o)
The wheels are turning for us but it seems to take so long to get concrete answers & no-one can tell you what to do - only give you possibilities & options (if you're lucky) so the decision has to be yours and I would suggest knowing as much as you can before you tackle the issue, so you have a realistic vision in your mind about what the likely outcome would be for you.

Since my STBX 'realised' I was serious and after he calmed down slightly (immediate reactions included insisting I tell our 3DCs within 24 hours or he'd 'text them' - charmer!) & accepted it, he is now using his bully tactics to get a 'result'. His ideal is us selling the house & him walking with 50% of the equity while I find somewhere for youngest & me to live. Equity is not great but enough for him to move to the country (his preference) & set up comfortably, whereas nowhere near enough for me to stay in area where I have lots of connections, work, family, friends as well as school for DD2.

We are finally seeing another Mediator this Thursday, so will see what they say... house is subject to repossession if we don't keep up payments and that is what he is threatening after this month.
Doesn't help I had an Occ Health review today (2 weeks before my redundancy Confused ) & I spent most of it crying as i feel so threatened powerless & pathetic
So, as they say 'Get your ducks lined up'.
PS New name is from Album by Nick Drake who I always loved - a bit melancholy & he committed suicide at 27... so panders to my pessimistic side whilst appearing optimistic!

reluctantmpvdriver · 15/05/2012 21:12

Hi Bryter - that's ..well .. brighter!

Ducks lined up - presumably you have checked on the legals - if the DC's live with you most of the time then my understanding is that you should get more than 50%. If you are redundant then he should pay some spousal maintenance until you are on your feet again plus child maintenance no?

I have been through legal advice channels and am now seeing therapist so I have some support but just can't seem to bite the bullet . Have to though as he is steadily eating up all the assets so will lose alot all if don't act quickly.

BryterLayter · 20/05/2012 12:46

Am enjoying a OH free w/end - everything is so calm & stressless, even the cats seem happier!! Just makes me see how much more effective & focussed I will be when he's not around. Had mediation on Thurs, turns out he will get Legal Help & I won't as they only take mortgage payments off disposable inc. Not luxuries like heat light & food!!! So I turn out to be £84 over the limit. So we'll be on bread & water from now on.... Wearing lots of jumpers & candle lit evenings!!

reluctantmpvdriver · 20/05/2012 20:15

Oh - I also have had a free evening on sat (spent with girl friend) and managed to persuade him to stay out at relatives for the night so had the morning/afternoon with the kids which was lovely. Lovely. Had big conversation last week and this time I said that i wanted H to leave for a short time to give me space as I feel about to explode and cannot see anything clearly until be leaves. Understandably he does not want to go and after much talking and getting angry and trying to understand each other we ended with him saying let's give it six months. But six months why ? - if you cannot trust how can you rebuild that in six months - and we have not agreed how we are supposed to assess that the relationship is salvageable in 6 months - . We are going to do that to night at my suggestion. All seems unreal - I just want him to go so that I can think. Only that in my mind will help me sort out my feelings. But he refuse because he will miss the kids and I understand that. If he does not go however I think that I will file for divorce just to get him about the house and out of my head. Going Mad - just want some big god in the sky to get him to disappear for a while .

How was your weekend?

Have you both accepted that you will split up - was it easy to get him to accept ?

BryterLayter · 21/05/2012 15:33

Yes, that 'headspace' is important especially when you have younger kids who you need to focus on when they're around.
I feel trapped as he's 'working from home' now, so no respite at all - the weekend was fabulous really relaxed and calm, DD2 & I watched Lord of the Rings together & baked cookies, felt like it used to when they were little & he was always out - which was preferable!
Well back to Stress City today! He's just been asking when can we sell the house?, when can we sell the house?!
We are in a dreadful situation financially, so there is pressure - my last paycheck due this week & no new job to start yet. Him earning less than a quarter of what he used to. Our mortgage is sky high but with bad credit rating we wouldn't qualify for a new one.
He has accepted that we are going to separate - he is just angry that he can't 'make it go back to the way it was' which was me doing everything he wanted - hence the mess we are in now! Unfortunately he doesn't want to make any change himself - as he put it in Couples Counselling once "Why should I?"
It's that unbending selfishness that finally made me realise no matter how hard I try, he will never change. Which brings us back to Wakemeup's OP & the realisation that the never ending cycle of blow-ups & smoothing over can literally be never-ending and eventually it exhausts you mentally, emotionally & physically!
Save yourselves!!!

overtherainbowtoo · 22/05/2012 00:12

I'm really new to MN but have come here trawling threads desperately hoping to find some answers. My relationship with DH has been so hard for years now. Been together 16yrs but I can't remember things ever being all that great and we've had two seperate periods of couples counselling to get this far. I was young when we met and I've now grown up all of a sudden I feel as though I could scream with the need to get out.
None of this makes sense to me as I do love him. He is a lovely man, who provides for me and our two DS, and on the face of things we live a charmed life. But we are like brother and sister. Not lovers. Not friends. But a strong family bond all the same. I just feel so trapped and claustraphobic but I couldn't bear to hurt him or our DC's. Really want to make the decision to move on from this but right now I can't do it :-(. Its so nice to feel that I'm not alone in feeling like this so thank you.

BryterLayter · 22/05/2012 17:38

Hello Overtherainbow, sorry you are feeling that way.
How old are your DS's?
Is it something you think can be salvaged/changed if you got help/advice or had a change of scene/injection of fun or passion?

overtherainbowtoo · 22/05/2012 23:43

Thanks Bryter. DS's are 7 and 4. How old are yours? I got a bit lost with the name changes Wink I'm having a one off with the counsellor we saw before to see if that helps. The biggest problem is that fun and passion have actaully never really been there for us - maybe in small doses a long time ago. We have always been a strong and solid team and great at nurturing and building a home. DH's idea of fun is usually time on his own. Its just the way he is. I have lots of friends I have fun with but I'm sad that its missing in our marriage. I think its a case now of accept it or not rather than scope to change all that much.
I can really relate to "no matter how hard I try, he will never change" Shame its taken me so long to realise it!

PullUpAPew · 23/05/2012 16:54

I'm reading this with interest and sadness. After a longish period of hopefulness, I've started to wonder if a separation is inevitable. I don't know what to say really, I'm just going to hover here for a bit if that's ok. It has literally just hit me in the last couple of days that I am waiting for someone else to change and that might be a total waste of time. My DH is having counselling, he has horrid parents and thus no idea how to be in a relationship, and he is changing a great deal and facing a lot of tough stuff, but I don't know how I feel about it all or whether I have the strength to hold on to see what the end result will be. Just very very Sad. I can't bear the thought of breaking up the family but also can't face this waiting continuing for ever.

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