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Should I leave him?

14 replies

workingmum2006 · 05/03/2014 12:22

Don't know what to do so turning to a forum for anyone who has gone through something similar. We have been together for 20 years. He packed in his job 16 years ago to look after the kids, and I became the sole breadwinner.
I'm now running a successful international business and clearly he is intending to never work again. He spends half the day (all kids at secondary school) watching sport in the basement. House never really clean unless I nag and nag, and food preparation is a chore as he can't really cook and doesn't seem to want to learn. I can just about cope with that (he does rustle up a pasta and ready made sauce or similar, he also does all the laundry and a lot of the other household tasks) but the bigger problem is that he is resenting my success, especially the many social evenings, overseas travel etc etc that my job entails. He's happy to enjoy all the benefits of the money (big house, long holidays, season ticket etc) but is so jealous and resentful of my life away from him that he often sulks for months after a work trip, weeks after a client dinner. His self esteem has been so eroded by years of not working, that he has this huge insecurity problem which presents as jealousy. I have had enough, its really dragging me down, I often dread going home as don't know what I will face - I think I deserve better - and as an optimist at heart I don't believe in losing any more of my life in misery. I think the situation is really unhealthy for both of us.
We tried Relate but it was a disaster as he would spend the whole hour talking about how I didn't phone home at the right time on the right day from a trip 6 months ago etc etc. If anything the counselling just clarified how deep his issues are.
BUT - I love him - I always have - I cant imagine him not being in my life. I know he loves me despite everything. He's a good man (I know I am not presenting him well) who just got into the wrong situation with the wrong woman. He would have been very happy I think with a humdrum and a less ambitious woman. Also our 3 kids are so secure and happy and I think it would devastate them. He is definitely their primary parent - the one they turn to when they are sick etc - they adore him. Not sure I can stand all the upheaval it will cause to everyone involved, just for my personal happiness. He will be desolate. And I will miss him so much. HELP!

OP posts:
Kaluki · 05/03/2014 12:25

You still love him so all is not lost.
He needs to get himself a job now and get out into the real world. Can you help him do that? Sort out a CV or help him to retrain?
Sounds as though he is a bit depressed and stuck in a rut.

kotinka · 05/03/2014 12:27

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VerucaInTheNutRoom · 05/03/2014 12:29

What did he do before he gave up work? Could you afford for him to do a refresher course or other retraining so that he is more confident and could find a job, even a part time one? Could you get a cleaner? It sounds as if he feels redundant, maybe even depressed and it is hard to criticise you when you are the breadwinner which is why he is gripping about small things like phone calls.

If you both love one another it's worth persevering surely?

EverythingCounts · 05/03/2014 12:30

That sounds dangerously close for blaming yourself for being ambitious and being fulfilled through your work, though. Sounds like you need a compromise where you get to be you, and he gets to be him, but without either of you feeling that you are being shortchanged by the other. Easier said than done, I know.

The sulking is really depressing. Does he understand how deeply that affects you? Did you get to say that in counselling, or was it all about him and how he felt on that terrible day in 1999 when you didn't call, etc?

kotinka · 05/03/2014 12:33

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kotinka · 05/03/2014 12:37

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workingmum2006 · 05/03/2014 13:23

He doesn't want to get a job. He enjoys being able to watch sport at home during the day. I have begged him to get a job, or even do voluntary work, so that he has some kind of life, but he insists he is happy as he is. Then if I persist it feels like nagging, and leads to more rows.

OP posts:
workingmum2006 · 05/03/2014 13:25

I have expressed how much the sulking gets me down - and he has sworn never to do it again - then will have a few rosy months, before something triggers it and its back to square one.

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kotinka · 05/03/2014 13:26

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workingmum2006 · 05/03/2014 13:27

Hi Kotinka

Should it really matter - if I have no signal somewhere should I feel sick with anxiety because I couldn't call for half a day? Shouldn't people trust each other. If he is out with friends or family (or football) I just hope he has a good time and rings me if and when he is free for a chat. I don't need to keep tabs on his every move.

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kotinka · 05/03/2014 13:29

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workingmum2006 · 05/03/2014 13:32

I don't need him to be earning at all. We don't need the money. He doesn't need to do school runs, but of course there are still a lot of disruptions - kids off sick - teacher training etc etc. Its not about the money, or the job, its about the fact that he has no motivation to do anything and so spends his day wondering what I am doing and developing paranoia.

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kotinka · 05/03/2014 13:36

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workingmum2006 · 05/03/2014 14:01

No - I wouldn't say so - he doesn't really have many close friends, but I think that can be a 'man' thing sometimes. Its so hard to make someone develop outside interests, without coming back to the 'nagging' thing. Seems to be basically me who gets him down.

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