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SMBC or stay?

1 reply

BippityBoppityBoo1 · 11/10/2022 21:06

I have been with my partner 6 years and had 7 miscarriages at all stages of pregnancy (yes, all, so please be kind).

It’s been devastating, but it’s also put everything else on hold. My bereavement counsellor tells me not to make big life choices while we are going through such pain. The last miscarriage happened a month ago and I’ve realised — I’ve put off making big life choices for about 4 years.

One of those life choices is being with my partner. Before one of my later losses I was thinking we would have to end it. At the time, he was exhibiting all his worst behaviour, shouting and not helping me at all even though I was poorly while pregnant. But then he was so good when we lost our son, and we really pulled through together. He definitely has issues — he can be subtly controlling and recently I realised it’s not just subconscious because of how his parents spoke to him, he does have some ingrained attitudes, like he seems to blame me for making him late for things I couldn’t possibly have done, thinks I’m taking advantage of him monetarily (I am not), thinks when I want to talk about these things that have been issues since before we lost our first baby that I’m “just grieving, that’s all.” He snipes quite a bit and I’m often asking him to “not speak to me like that”. It can be very disheartening. Most disconcerting is that he says he will change, but when we talk a bit more he might say “yes but I said X to make you do Y because I was stressed”… meaning that he knows, and justifies, what he’s doing. Also, the behaviour has gotten a little better but has shown no sign of disappearing in 6 years.

But when I look at my friend’s husbands… I really wonder if we are like most people, putting up with some difficult stuff to have a partner in life that loves us. Is that commitment?

We met later in life and have never had the crazy passion, but I’ve always fancied him and at times felt truly like we would be together forever (or we wouldn’t have ttc). We want all the same things in life — we both have a really esoteric job in the life sciences and we love talking about it. There are also more issues, like I love lots of people around and he doesn’t, and I love lots of sex and he doesn’t. But he also arranges most of the lovely things we do, and does some very sweet things, like cooking dinner for my family a lot and taking me out to do activities I love. He is very loyal and thinks highly of me. And sometimes he is great! For weeks, no bad comments and he has a great energy. It’s so confusing!

Losing all our babies has made me reevaluate life. They are the things I love most, and holding them when they were born (the bigger ones) let me know what it feels like when something is truly important to me — and when it’s not.

However my partner is something I am not clear on.

Life has so much pain in it (I grieve my lost little ones every day) and it’s all work, all the time. To top this, I’m exhausted and I’ve realised it’s going to continue to be exhausting, no matter what (ie partner or no partner). I don’t know whether I want to give up working on HIM (his issues, and I also help him a lot with finances and his career) and work on ME (my finances and my career need a lot more work than his after the last few years) and my babies.

My fear in staying is that he won’t change enough, it’ll be such hard work for me to help him change, and then we’ll have children and they’ll see his behaviour, copy his behaviour, and then if I do want to leave I’ll be dealing with custody issues. I’m also somehow scared about staying with him and continuing to have miscarriages and “it all being for nothing” (I’m really confused about this thought in my head, but I think I mean relationships are work and if it doesn’t lead to a baby, I’m not sure if that will be worth it for me).

My fear in leaving is that I’m just running away from struggle to an idea that sounds like a dream (having babies without having to “work” on a male partner’s behaviour, having my own schedule where my time not with the kids is dedicated to my work, which I love, and finding a person to love at whatever time in life with no pressure to have kids) that’s not real. And of course there’s the fear that I won’t get pregnant with IUI and donor sperm (though I haven’t had any trouble getting pregnant before).

I am a big dreamer and I have a dream one day I will meet someone who is right for me — perhaps a young spirit, with a lot of energy and a smile on their face a lot of the time, like me! But I also think… am I deluded? I mean… I’ve dated. I haven’t met anyone I could have spent my life with, and the two men I’ve had LT relationships with have been when I told myself to “get real” and try to be with someone (and both were subtly controlling — which isn’t a surprise, as my dad is with my mum, but was a surprise, because I’m blinkered to it… I just can’t see when it’s happening or I think “well my dad has those issues but he’s also a lovely person”.)

I now know the drugs I need to be on to give me the best chance of sustaining a pregnancy. I expect there might be more pain and loss ahead. He doesn’t help me much during miscarriages but having him means having someone to grieve our son and daughter with (plus all the tinier ones too).

If I went down the SMBC route, I would pay for IUI with donor sperm from a clinic in Denmark. It might take several goes. I have the savings. I have a great, wonderful support system of family and friends.

Whatever I decide, I have to keep trying for children. I can take a few months off, but because I am mid 30s with a 4 year history of ttc and no living child, I have to keep going.

This must be confusing to you (?) because it’s confusing to me. I do love my partner. I do think a lot of him. He is and will be a wonderful dad. But it increasingly feels like a choice about what I want my life to be: in a couple, dealing with his moods but also having his support and companionship, or on my own, dealing with the quiet but being able to go through life without fuss, just getting on with things with joy (and possibly loneliness too?) in my heart, without being crushed so often by a snap aimed at me.

Id really appreciate any thoughts. I think it will help me consider what to do. I think either life could be good, but I have to decide what I want and then put effort into making it great.

OP posts:
TreadLightly3 · 21/10/2022 23:48

Hey OP, I think you know the answer to your own question. People don’t change and suddenly become decent to their partner when they have a child together. More often than not, there is no change or they get worse. I can tell you from experience that if he doesn’t talk to you respectfully now you will very much regret staying with him when your child/ren witness that behaviour - which they would.

you are still young and have many, many more years to find the love of your life. This guy is 100% not that person and the longer you stay with him, the more you reduce your chances of meeting the love of your life anytime soon.

you are in a fabulous position - you have the money and emotional support from family to go it alone. You can feel whole, loved, respected with them and your child. A relationship with the wrong person is a very lonely place. There are tons of single mums on MN who are meeting great guys all the time - that could be you!!

I really wish you all the luck in the world having your baby and then finding the man that is meant for you xx

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