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Has anyone else ever felt trapped?

18 replies

arabella2 · 14/06/2003 12:46

I seem to be doing a lot of posting about myself at the moment and not contributing to other threads - but I do honestly post if I think I have anything useful to say.
My relationship dilemmas continue (see "do you accept dp the way he is" and "how do you handle criticism" in that dh has completely withdrawn from me (since latter thread was posted in fact) and though there was a day which was better (yesterday) this all went to pot in the evening when we relapsed into an argument. Things look bleak for me at the moment and I am spending my free thinking time thinking of all the opportunities I had to leave before ds was born (or conceived should I say) which I didn't take. I went out with ds this morning and I could see these people enjoying the sun and looking carefree and I was thinking that instead of being completely ignored by dh and feeling miserable about it, I could be one of those people just enjoying life.
I just cannot believe that I got together with someone who seems to be so different from me. He hates talking about relationship kinds of issues, he isn't into celebrating birthdays or certainly anything else, he is totally unromantic in his approach to our relationship and would certainly never say sorry for anything he had said. I have become the same in order to protect myself but ideally I would be in a relationship with someone who cared about me equally and to whom I did not feel I was a nuisance. Dh is 12 years older than me and I am sure this has something to do with it. It's as if I went from being with my parents to being with him and I have never had a taste of what it would be like to manage my own life...
The way things are between us at the moment the only thing which seems possible is splitting but that would be so horrible - I can't imagine what a custody battle with dh would be like or even ds missing out on his parents together. In the past these situations have been defused when other people are around but I feel very alone. I would never discuss these kinds of things with my parents, my aunt whom I used to talk to is very busy with other things... It's almost as if when you have a child a) people are only interested in the child and b) they assume you are uproariously happy and no longer in need of any attention. Anyway I am rambling hopelessly here...
Do you think it would help to go to counselling by myself???

OP posts:

arabella2 · 14/06/2003 12:47

The face winking was a mistake!!

OP posts:

doormat · 14/06/2003 15:15

arabella2 I have read your threads and here is a suggestion for you as you seem very troubled.
Go and sit down in a quiet place (on your own) and make 2 lists. One list for the pros and one for the cons. when you have finished the lists see which one outweighs the other and try and work on the pos and the neg of your relationship.If you really want to go to counselling sessions GO but you could try and do something about your relationship while you are waiting for an appointment.

As for your question about being trapped I think we all do from time to time (I know I do sometimes) but at the end of the day it is OUR own lives and we should live how we make it. Sometimes it is easier said than done. I am a great believer that we are all in charge of our own destiny and that we get little hiccups along the way but they can be dealt with and sorted.If you feel unhappy try and change the situation into a happy one. Get out together on your own (without ds) every so often and learn to communicate with eachother again. I sincerely hope everything goes well for you. Let us know how you get on.LOL


mammya · 15/06/2003 00:16

Arabella, I agree with Doormat that we are in charge of our own destiny. What I would add is that we have only one life, it's not a rehearsal. If, having weighed the pros and cons and done all you can to improve your situation, you are still unhappy and feeling trapped, then maybe you should seriously consider a divorce. I'm not saying that's what you should do, only that sometimes things can't be fixed and it's not right that you should spend your life feeling trapped and unhappy. The custody battle may be difficult, but compared to a lifetime of misery it may be worth going through with it. Yes your child will miss out on his parents together, but he will still have two parents who love him, and two separated happy parents are probably better than two miserable parents together.


Holly02 · 15/06/2003 03:53

Arabella I do think counselling might help you, even if you go alone. I say this because I have recently decided to go to counselling myself, because I am also in a position of feeling trapped and have watched my relationship and home life deteriorate in recent months. I really need to offload some of it (dh & I only seem to argue when we try to sort things out most of the time) and feel that it will help me to gain another perspective and maybe find some answers about how to handle my situation. I'm trying to get on with life but have this awful feeling at the pit of my stomach a lot of the time, and I know I have to do something about it.

It might help you in the short term anyway. Best of luck...


tallulah · 15/06/2003 10:08

A word of caution before you do anything rash. I've felt like this on and off for many years. We will have been married for 20 years this year- I was 20 when we married & went from my parents to DH. There have been times when we can't stand the sight of each other, and like your DH he tends to be very taciturn. I can be pleading with him to talk to me & get "what about? We don't have a problem- you have a problem".

On the other hand, there have been good times in between. You can't expect 1 person to meet your every need, and I think this is where I've gone wrong in the past.

I sat down to think about the alternative & ended up thinking "what's the point?" You split up with someone, spend ages looking for someone else, only to end up with a different list of problems. I have a good friend who has done this so many times & still isn't happy, with 4 failed marriages behind her.

No-one said that life was meant to be easy. Good luck with whatever you decide.


Holly02 · 15/06/2003 10:28


Holly02 · 15/06/2003 10:28


Holly02 · 15/06/2003 10:28


Holly02 · 15/06/2003 10:29

SORRY.... computer froze up momentarily & I must have clicked too many times.

Blood pressure must have been up a bit


arabella2 · 15/06/2003 10:29

Thanks for your messages. I am feeling a lot better today. I went shopping by myself yesterday and also to a bookshop and that seems to have made a difference. Dh and I are talking again and I have been thinking about what I can do to stop repeating the negative interactions (or some of them anyway) between us. I bought a book called "The Surrendered Wife" yesterday which sounds like a dreadful title and some of the ideas in it are a little stone age. A lot of them are not however - it talks a lot about how to stop controlling your partner and what kinds of rewards that brings. I think a lot of the things she urges wives to do my partner could do as well but anyway... Another two books I saw on Amazon for anyone who is interested are:
"How one of you can bring the two of you together" by Susan Page and "Communication Miracles for Couples..." by Jonathan Robinson.
If I were to put together a list of pros and cons there would definitely be a lot more pros so thank you for that suggestion as well doormat.

OP posts:

arabella2 · 15/06/2003 10:34

I must have posted at the same time as you Holly - yup that's what my dh says as well if I try to talk about any disagreement we are having - that it's my problem and not his... I think they know that's not true but as men that's the response they are designed to have. Then maybe they go away and resolve the situation differently.

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arabella2 · 16/06/2003 22:46

Well after a good day yesterday, we had another row last night and are only vaguely back on talking terms again now. Dh has just been gratuitously rude to me and really I am fed up. It's the kind of thing which makes you feel kind of worthless - if your own partner tells you that "he has to put up with your stupidity" (admittedly after I had told him that I have to put up with his aggressive behaviour and shouting) then you haven't really got anyplace good to go have you? Someone calling me stupid is the worst thing for me (must be something to do with school and childhood)...
Anyway, just to let you know that I am back on the wonderful rollercoaster of me and dh sulking... how long can this go on I ask myself... I don't feel like being a "surrendered wife" today.

OP posts:

sykes · 17/06/2003 09:18

How are you feeling today? Hope it's a good day.


arabella2 · 17/06/2003 12:33

Ok thanks. Dh and I being distantly civil. I suppose we have both lost trust in each other that needs to be rebuilt. Thanks for asking.

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princesspeahead · 17/06/2003 13:12

arabella, I second everything people have said, but I think from all your various postings you sort of instinctively know that you may have made a mistake in being in this relationship, and deserve something better/different. I think counselling would be helpful, even if it only crystallises how you do actually feel and helps you reach some decisions that you are avoiding.
but one other thing I'd say is that you should talk to your aunt again, if she was helpful to you before. she may be busy with other things but I'm sure she would be horrified to think that you were struggling with this alone and not able to talk to her because she was too busy. and sometimes people who know you best and who are familiar with your actual situation can help you shed more light on your feelings than a very neutral and detached counsellor.
best of luck with it all, you are in a very difficult situation.


Sheila · 17/06/2003 13:16

Dear Arabella, haven't read your other threads but it does sound as tho' you're a bit stuck. I felt much as you do before I left former DP - I spent all my time obsessing about what a shit he was - he was my only topic of conversation, the main focus of all my energies. I wore myself out trying to get him to change. Since I left I feel he's taken on his rightful place in my life - just one (admittedly v. irritating) part of it. Now I feel that I'm in control of my life and it's a huge relief not to spend all my time thinking and worrying about him. The blessed peace of spending days not thinking about him at all! Having said that I do seem to spend a lot of time on Mumsnet writing about him lately...

BUT I don't recommend this course of action, especially if you feel there's something worth salvaging from your relationship. It must be possible to achieve this without leaving, through finding things that are satisfying and give you a sense of independence and self esteem that aren't dependent on DH. I don't know if you work outside the home but that's one way of achieving this which also gives you some financial independence too.

Sorry - maybe a bit incoherent but hope it helps. Basically I think you should make a positive decision to stay but get as much independence as you can. A good idea anyway in case you do decide you've had enough at a later stage.


arabella2 · 17/06/2003 14:00

Thanks for your thoughts. A bit shocked that people think I might have to leave... Surely a lot of our problems are to do with having a 19 month old and not yet having "adjusted" to the new dynamics??? I know I was the one who initially said about wanting to leave. It's true that like you Sheila I have spent a long time obsessing over dh. However there have been periods in the relationship where we have reached an oasis - I just think that the presence of ds puts us "back" a step or two. Also, it is possible isn't it that there are things that over the 7 years of our relationship have never been resolved but still could be??
I have read of countless stories where when people FINALLY stopped wanting their partner to change, their partner was suddenly doing many more things that made them feel loved???
I have to think this anyway partly because of ds and partly because I do think dh and I can get back on an even keel if I work on it.
It's true that in some ways we are not suited in the way we demonstrate affection but then I bet a lot of couples are not. Yes it might have been better to leave in years gone by but for whatever reason I didn't and I have to believe that even after all this time I can still build the kind of relationship I really want with dh, also by giving him some of the things which he wants instead of withholding all the time. I am very jealous of how much affection he showers on ds (though glad for ds, don't want to sound like the mother from hell), but I don't discount that we might be like that again one day (maybe without the same intensity, after all I am not a VERY cute 19 month old baby) - anyway here's hoping.
I think the point about independence was a good one.

OP posts:

Sheila · 17/06/2003 14:11

Hey Arabella2 -this is a great result! Sounds like you've made a positive decision to stay and work things out, and have recognised there's lots of good in your relationship. Brilliant!

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