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Trapped :(
28

Lovethatforyou · 25/06/2022 22:51

I’m not, but it feels that way.

A looong rough history with relationships and fertility. But here I am with a gorgeous son (5yo), a husband and a lovely home.

We both work full time. Well, 4 days each. income is good, not much leftover each month but we have a nice lifestyle.

However, my husband makes me utterly miserable. He’s so grumpy, petty, immature, disrespectful, impatient etc… I just don’t like him anymore.

But my little boy adores him.

I feel forever trapped because I’m not sure I have the emotional strength to go through the upheaval and start again, again. I don’t want less time with my boy who I waited years for (I’m 45 now). And I don’t want to struggle financially alone :(

Urgh. What a shite situation.

How can I stay but be able to bear it? Any tips? Anyone here who cohabits with someone they don’t like for your children’s sake?

I don’t even know what I’m asking. Just for empathy, no judgment, stories, advice maybe.

Pls don’t go in hard with the ‘leave him’ comments. I’m just not up to that, yet.

OP's posts:
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chuggabo · 26/06/2022 12:09

Maybe its not time to leave yet, so how abouts it's time to feel stronger? Develop more connections to people outside of him- more social life that he isn't part of, and trips to places that are just for you. Do more of the things you like, eat the foods and wear the clothes just for you. Build on being the strong vibrant version of you.

Then when you feel a little relief from being dragged down by your millstone, dare to dream. What kind of life could I have one day? What do I need to do today to get ready for that?

Get paperwork in order, change bank accounts if you need to, or look for a new job? Small things to start with that could make it easier to make the break if/when you call time on your relationship. Even if its just changing one thing this week, it's one step closer to happiness.

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NotReallySure · 26/06/2022 16:17

That's how I was with my husband for years, I just made sure I had time for myself - a drink with friends, day out in the hills etc, so there was a balance. I was content with life but didn't like my husband and felt I could at least bear it until my children had left home. I probably would have continued like that but for a time he really overstepped the mark and it affected the kids (4&6). If you're not ready to leave, just focus on the positives, and maybe one day the time will be right. I'm in the process of separation, it's messy but I can't wait to be free. But I probably wouldn't be in this situation if he hadn't started upsetting the kids so no judgement here at all.

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Littlebirdyouaresosweet · 26/06/2022 16:25

Get some headphones. Zone out when ds isn't around so you don't have to hear dh? I started leaving the room when I was married previously.. Subtly at first.

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AttilaTheMeerkat · 26/06/2022 17:06

Why do you think your child adores him?. His dad is an abusive fun sponge and it’s not his fault either.

What do you want to teach your child about relationships and what is he learning here?. You’re staying because of a lifestyle you want to maintain, that is not going to be a decision your child would say thanks mum
to you for. It’s only a matter of time also before your son starts noticing how his dad treats you as his mum and potentially copies him, after all you are showing him this is currently acceptable to you from his dad. Why do you also think his dad would want his child around half the week given he also works full time?. Perhaps he may threaten this but some men spout this in order to avoid paying maintenance.

leaving is a hard process but it is one you will come out of. What you’re describing here is a slow death by 1000 cuts and staying for the reasons you cite are no basis for staying with such a man. You’re 45 as well so not that bloody old and you are not too old to start afresh.

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AttilaTheMeerkat · 26/06/2022 17:09

You are not trapped here even though you think otherwise

you have a choice re this man and your child does not. Your son will have to follow your lead.

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wellhelloitsme · 26/06/2022 18:26

my husband makes me utterly miserable. He’s so grumpy, petty, immature, disrespectful, impatient etc…

Do you want your son to grow up thinking that this is what a normal relationship looks like?

Because that's what he'll think if you stay together.

And the longer you stay, the more likely he is to replicate it as an adult.

How would you feel if you visited him and his partner when he's an adult and witnessed him making his wife "utterly miserable" by being "grumpy, petty, immature, disrespectful and impatient"?

Would you feel pleased you stayed with your husband and normalised that behaviour or would you wish you had left so your little boy didn't have to grow up in a toxic household?

You aren't trapped, you're making an active choice to stay in a situation that's unhealthy for all involved.

You deserve better than how you're being treated. But you do have a choice. Your son doesn't.

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VikingHelmet · 26/06/2022 19:09

I know EXACTLY how you feel

I’m slightly further along than you as I told my husband how unhappy I was months ago, and since then he’s been on his best behaviour. It’s almost made it worse, as now it’s really clear that I’ve emotionally checked out due to the classic ‘death by 1000 cuts’ over the years, rather than just his behaviour being a problem that can be changed and then everything will be fine- he could turn in Prince Charming and I Still wouldn’t love him anymore.

I find some sort of solidarity in knowing that other people are in the same situation. I hope you’re ok, it’s so hard to feel like this .

Practical things I do, though I don’t think these are all ‘healthy behaviours’ , but anyway:
listen to podcasts as I cook, do housework etc (it drives him INSANE); try to avoid being in the room with him if I can help it by tag teaming the kids (he’s in the kitchen with them, I’m upstairs sorting laundry- they come upstairs, I take the kids and head out to buy milk etc); go to bed much earlier than him; take up hobbies and refuse to compromise about attending if the timing doesn’t suit him (like I might have done in the past). I’ve also just started therapy, it’s expensive but so far it’s worth it just to pour out my feelings. I’d recommend it if you can

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Nellybellyfrillytilly · 26/06/2022 19:11

Get some time for yourself, girls holiday, mother son holiday (if you could get away without husband wanting to join), get a hobby in the evenings, it sounds awful but try to spend as least time with him.

I’ve not been in such a serious situation as you but my husband and I had a really tough time recently (with 2 young children), I think you get stuck in a rut and in a daily routine grind that makes you pick up on everything your other half does in such a negative way.

maybe when you have had time and want to, set aside date nights, see a therapist, Talk to your friends - just getting things off your chest will help.

maybe write him a letter now and then read it back in a few months and see if you still agree with yourself?

sending you hugs, this may just be a bump in the road and you will come out the storm stronger and happier 🤞

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VikingHelmet · 26/06/2022 19:11

To clarify, i listen to podcasts via headphones, and he rages that I’m not engaging with him (which I’m not) rather than having something blaring out loudly in the kitchen, which would be annoying in a different way I suppose!

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RandomMess · 26/06/2022 19:14

Book some couples therapy and tell him how miserable he is making you. Give him the chance to change!

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Aquamarine1029 · 26/06/2022 19:15

Your son will know exactly how miserable you are and how dysfunctional your marriage is, and sadly he will grow up thinking this is normal. Children raised in families like this very often go on to continue this toxic cycle. Don't inflict that fate upon him.

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FreeRangeFloozy · 26/06/2022 19:16

Totally your call whether to prioritise well-being of the child over materialism. It’s life. Millions go through it, there is no easy way forward but it’s better than stagnating in a dead pond.

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jsku · 26/06/2022 19:21

OP - I was where to are. Lasted almost till my kids made it to secondary. Wanted to last longer but it didn’t work out that way.
it was worth it - as kids were more robust to deal with divorce then.
Basically - you need to make sure you have something that keeps you going and takes your mind off the way your H is/is treating you. Could be your job, friends, hobbies, activities with your child.
Build a some area of your life that doesn’t include your H. So you can have a break and recharge. Also - so that when you eventually breakup - you have your own sources of happiness.
Some people in your situation also have a bit of parallel life as in a FWB in a similar situation. But it’s risky and may get complicated.

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wellhelloitsme · 26/06/2022 19:22

VikingHelmet · 26/06/2022 19:09

I know EXACTLY how you feel

I’m slightly further along than you as I told my husband how unhappy I was months ago, and since then he’s been on his best behaviour. It’s almost made it worse, as now it’s really clear that I’ve emotionally checked out due to the classic ‘death by 1000 cuts’ over the years, rather than just his behaviour being a problem that can be changed and then everything will be fine- he could turn in Prince Charming and I Still wouldn’t love him anymore.

I find some sort of solidarity in knowing that other people are in the same situation. I hope you’re ok, it’s so hard to feel like this .

Practical things I do, though I don’t think these are all ‘healthy behaviours’ , but anyway:
listen to podcasts as I cook, do housework etc (it drives him INSANE); try to avoid being in the room with him if I can help it by tag teaming the kids (he’s in the kitchen with them, I’m upstairs sorting laundry- they come upstairs, I take the kids and head out to buy milk etc); go to bed much earlier than him; take up hobbies and refuse to compromise about attending if the timing doesn’t suit him (like I might have done in the past). I’ve also just started therapy, it’s expensive but so far it’s worth it just to pour out my feelings. I’d recommend it if you can

But your poor kids are watching this thinking this is what a relationship and family life should look like - that it's what they should expect and accept. Doesn't that break your heart for their future selves as they're then likely to replicate the cold, distanced, disconnected and tense atmosphere throughout their own adult lives?

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D0lphine · 26/06/2022 19:26

Have you told him how he makes you feel?

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Badger1970 · 26/06/2022 19:40

I'm considering my out, OP. I've not made any decisions as to when, but I'm starting to save money so that I at least have options.

I think just knowing you have a choice makes an unhappy marriage a lot easier to bear during the child raising years.

I think there are an awful lot of women who could write the same post..........

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TunnelOfGoats · 26/06/2022 19:45

AttilaTheMeerkat · 26/06/2022 17:06

Why do you think your child adores him?. His dad is an abusive fun sponge and it’s not his fault either.

What do you want to teach your child about relationships and what is he learning here?. You’re staying because of a lifestyle you want to maintain, that is not going to be a decision your child would say thanks mum
to you for. It’s only a matter of time also before your son starts noticing how his dad treats you as his mum and potentially copies him, after all you are showing him this is currently acceptable to you from his dad. Why do you also think his dad would want his child around half the week given he also works full time?. Perhaps he may threaten this but some men spout this in order to avoid paying maintenance.

leaving is a hard process but it is one you will come out of. What you’re describing here is a slow death by 1000 cuts and staying for the reasons you cite are no basis for staying with such a man. You’re 45 as well so not that bloody old and you are not too old to start afresh.

I agree completely with this poster

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VikingHelmet · 26/06/2022 19:47

@wellhelloitsme

yes, it does break my heart. Particularly as I can now see that I’ve replicated my parents’ unhappy-but-keeping-up-a-public-facade marriage.

And I do intend to leave. But I haven’t found the courage to make it happen yet. Therapy is helping me find that courage, I hope.

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Marmitemother · 26/06/2022 20:02

I wonder what your OH might say about you?

Marriages go through many seasons and nobody has the perfect partner 24/7. Have you thought about therapy either together or alone? Have you tried asking him why he is like this or identify when his behaviour changed? Are there any other issues going on in your lives that could be contributing factors? Could he be depressed?

Marriages need working on every day. Very often life takes over. It is stressful juggling parenthood, career and hard to not take it out sometimes on those we love the most.

Not read previous comments OP as no doubt they will be advocating 'LTB' and "you only have one life" etc

Of course if he is violent, aggressive or abusive then you need to address this as a priority for your own health and safety.

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wellhelloitsme · 26/06/2022 20:15

VikingHelmet · 26/06/2022 19:47

@wellhelloitsme

yes, it does break my heart. Particularly as I can now see that I’ve replicated my parents’ unhappy-but-keeping-up-a-public-facade marriage.

And I do intend to leave. But I haven’t found the courage to make it happen yet. Therapy is helping me find that courage, I hope.

I hope your therapist can help you so that you break the cycle for your children as soon as you can, that will be so empowering for you I think.

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Shehasadiamondinthesky · 26/06/2022 20:45

Have you asked him outright why he is doing this?
Maybe he needs to be told that the marriage is over unless things change and suggest therapy.
There is no way I could live with this.

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Escapetowonderland · 27/06/2022 13:38

Well, I'm not surprised op hasn't returned. Specifically didn't want ltb comments and here we are including the guilt tripping re. dc thrown in. I which these posters would resist posting (and some have posted very similar posts over and over again).

I hope you are doing okay op. I know how it feels to not be ready to make changes and there can be a number of reasons why (in relation to self and dc). I can identify with much you have written and there is a sense of feeling trapped.

I have a mostly happy life and just concentrate on that, slowly working toward building a better social network and developing my self esteem which is taking quite some time (about to return to therapy). I'm thinking when the time is right everything else will fall into place but I don't feel as if I'm doing nothing toward change it is just taking some time.

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KangarooKenny · 27/06/2022 13:41

You’re not the only one staying for their own reasons. I’d suggest you get your own life within your relationship, join a gym/class/club , and wait it out. You’ll know when it’s time for you to jump ship. Get your ducks in a row while playing the long game.

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frozendaisy · 27/06/2022 17:13

Can you just sit down and say that the man you married seems to have disappeared and you want that man back. That life is too short to be miserable.

Failing that escape in books, exercise, new hobby.

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notimetowait2022 · 27/06/2022 18:56

I understand how you're feeling and all I can say is that I wish that I had left earlier. I am now in the process of separating but deep inside I know I want a divorce. I'm terrified but also incredibly excited. I'm on my way to rebuild my life to the life I want!

I also have a child to consider but I am thinking that I'm teaching her to not just stay for the sake of it, if you're deeply unhappy. I've tried all things - couple's therapy, my own therapy etc but I end up with the same conclusion. So now I'm taking the big step out..

Good Luck OP, whatever you decide to do!

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