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Should I just accept my lot? advice needed

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I don't know if anyone will read this and if you do sorry as it's gonna be a long one. I could really do with some advice.

I have been with DH for 13 years (married for 9) and we have 3 kids. Basically I am just not sure if we should stay together or what to do for the best. If anyone checks, yes I have posted similar questions in the past as basically our issues have been ongoing throughout the marriage and what usually happens is we argue and I say things must change for us to work. he says he will try which he does for about a week then it all trails off again.

The thing is I am changing now and I am not sure I can keep doing this forever.

I do love DH but I am not in love with him anymore and if anything it is more like a parent child relationship. We get on quite well and trundle along but there is no passion or any physical contact at all even kissing. (I am 34 he is 31). I admit I am an insecure person and I need that contact and in the beginning we had a great physical relationship but as I say over the years it has gotten worse. I gave him the space he was after and it has totally backfired, he never comes to me for affection and I get shrugged off if I try.
He also will not make any decisions and it drives me crazy hearing 'whatever' to just about every question I ask only for him to use my decisions against me if things go a bit wrong.

He is a good dad and has been supportive with my panic attack issues (not that he had much choice) but he is very hard on our 12 year old daughter. In fact at the moment he has not spoken to her for 3 weeks because she told the school that she thinks he hates her. To me his reaction is not acceptable even though I can understand him feeling hurt. I tried to talk to him about it but he just says its not anything to do with me. His parents are the same and they have disowned all of their children at some point (not forever though) when they disagree. I am worried though that if he will do this to DD what stops him doing it to the rest of us. As it is because of this he does not eat with the family anymore and the atmosphere is bad. I also disagree with the way he threatens to do things such as drive home without the kids if they don't hurry, do what he tells them etc. (normal parental threats but he actually means them and would probably do it and leave our 7 year old).

Over the years I have accepted him and for the sake of unified parenting I have not argued with him about the fact that he shouts at everyone and is too harsh on the kids but I am starting to think that actually I should be standing up for them and maybe I could do better on my own.

if I am totally honest I think we are still together mainly because I am terrified of being on my own. I am no good with diy type things although I have always been in control of the money so at least that's something. I have anxiety issues and don't go out that much and my friend has said she will support me if I leave him but I am still scared that something will happen to make me so anxious I cant look after the kids alone even though I know this is highly unlikely.

I am just fed up of worrying about what mood he will be in next.

Any advice is appreciated.

TIA
April GC 9th-7th may £0/£320
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Comments

  • Horace
    Horace Posts: 14,426 Forumite
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    Have you thought about marriage guidance through Relate? If he won't go with you, then you can go alone.

    Sounds like your OH hasn't really grown up if he threatens to leave the kids behind and in relation to not speaking to your DD.

    Is it worth sitting down with him (without getting angry) to find out how he sees his life with you and the kids going forward?

    As for divorce - you don't have to be good at diy, you can get someone in to do it for you.
  • fabforty
    fabforty Posts: 809 Forumite
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    Parenting should be a joint effort, but each parent has a responsibility to protect the children and if the way that he treats them is unacceptably harsh, you absolutely need to stand up for them. If you don't, who will?
  • eveie189
    eveie189 Posts: 301 Forumite
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    He won't go to relate. He doesn't even want to talk about our problems. He just says he is sick of hearing the same old crap. I think he thinks I should just accept him as he is.

    As far as the kids are concerned it's just baffling. If anyone asks he always says it was me who wanted the kids not him but I know he does love them although his bond with our dd has never been as good as with the boys. My dilemma with them is if they are better with their parents together and just accepting him the way he is or will they be better with me looking after them as a single parent. I am sure lots of single parents do brilliant alone but I don't know if I will be good enough on my own. I just want the best for everyone.
    April GC 9th-7th may £0/£320
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
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    He sounds pretty controlling and self-centred.

    You cannot change him. He will only change if he decides that he wants to, and you cannot make him make that decision.

    What you can control is what you do, and the choices which you make.

    You have been together for 13 years, you've tried to change things and it hasn't worked. There is an old saw about the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Of course it is a cliche, but that doesn't mean it can;t also be true 9if a little harsh!)

    It's also worth thinking about the effect that all of this has on your children. Yes, a separation will be difficult for everyone, but as things are, the children are in a tense, unhappy atmosphere, and they are (particularly your daughter) also being bullied. They are also learning that this kind of behaviour is normal/acceptable in a relationship.Long-term, that could be very damaging.

    I would suggest that you consider seeing Relate. They will see you independently if your husband won't go, and you may find it helpful. You may also find it useful to try to identify if there are other networks you can start building so you have support if you do decide to separate from him - for instance, online fora related to your health issues, the forums at Wikivorce (which can be friendly and supportive as well as offering advice about the nets and bolts of any divorce) and family and friends.

    Consider sitting down and making a list of the positive and negative things about you relationship, and a separate one about the pros and cons of separating (see a solicitor for a free initial appointment so you have some idea of the financial consequences)

    Think about what would need to change for you to feel able to stay with him. It may be that you decide that it's too late , and that there isn't anything. Or it may be that you can identify specifics and if that';s the case, then you can speak to him and tell him how you feel. Be clear that you have been looking into divorce and that you are willing to give him the chance to rebuild the relationship but you need him to be committed to doing so.

    Don't give him an ultimatum unless you are willing to follow through f he is not prepared to change.

    When you are looking at the pros and cons, also think about how you could oeal with them. For instance - not being any good at DIY - could you start an emergency fund, putting a few pounds away each week so that if something needs doing, you can get someone round to do it? What about local colleges - do any of them offer evening classes in home maintenance? You Tube is good - there are loads of people who put up videos with step-by-step guides on how to do jobs. The 'in my home'; forum here is excellent for advice about identifying what needs to be done, how to do it, or what it might cost to get someone else to do it. You may find you have a friend who would be prepared to barter - what skills do you have? (For years,I got small jobs done around my house by a friend in return for me baking cakes for her. I once cooked a three course meal for her and 3 guests in return for getting my floor sanded.) As your daughter is 12, maybe you and she could learn together.

    It is always scary to go from the known to the unknown, but it's often less scary if you break it down into smaller bits. The idea of doing the mainentance on an entire house is daunting. Learning to change a washer because a tap is dripping *now* is much less scary.

    Whatever you decide, good luck. And if you decide to stay, do consider starting to stand up to him, if not for your own sake, for the children.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,759 Forumite
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    You are only 34. If you are not in love with your husband, if the spark has gone, my advise is to leave, get out. You deserve more out of life and relationships. I stayed with my first husband well past our sell by date. I did not really understand what was missing until I met my present husband. As for DIY you can learn so many things from youtube or you can pay others to do it.
  • eveie189
    eveie189 Posts: 301 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    Tbagpuss thanks for that. It has really helped clear things up for me I think. The last time this problem came to a head I asked him to leave if he didn't change. He said things would get better but then nothing changed at all. As for standing up for me and the kids I used to but at some point it became easier just to try and ignore it. I think I know what I should do I am just so scared.

    Thanks
    April GC 9th-7th may £0/£320
  • thorsoak
    thorsoak Posts: 7,166 Forumite
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    eveie189 wrote: »
    I don't know if anyone will read this and if you do sorry as it's gonna be a long one. I could really do with some advice.

    I have been with DH for 13 years (married for 9) and we have 3 kids. Basically I am just not sure if we should stay together or what to do for the best. If anyone checks, yes I have posted similar questions in the past as basically our issues have been ongoing throughout the marriage and what usually happens is we argue and I say things must change for us to work. he says he will try which he does for about a week then it all trails off again.

    The thing is I am changing now and I am not sure I can keep doing this forever.

    I do love DH but I am not in love with him anymore and if anything it is more like a parent child relationship. We get on quite well and trundle along but there is no passion or any physical contact at all even kissing. (I am 34 he is 31). I admit I am an insecure person and I need that contact and in the beginning we had a great physical relationship but as I say over the years it has gotten worse. I gave him the space he was after and it has totally backfired, he never comes to me for affection and I get shrugged off if I try.
    He also will not make any decisions and it drives me crazy hearing 'whatever' to just about every question I ask only for him to use my decisions against me if things go a bit wrong.

    He is a good dad and has been supportive with my panic attack issues (not that he had much choice) but he is very hard on our 12 year old daughter. In fact at the moment he has not spoken to her for 3 weeks because she told the school that she thinks he hates her. To me his reaction is not acceptable even though I can understand him feeling hurt. I tried to talk to him about it but he just says its not anything to do with me. His parents are the same and they have disowned all of their children at some point (not forever though) when they disagree. I am worried though that if he will do this to DD what stops him doing it to the rest of us. As it is because of this he does not eat with the family anymore and the atmosphere is bad. I also disagree with the way he threatens to do things such as drive home without the kids if they don't hurry, do what he tells them etc. (normal parental threats but he actually means them and would probably do it and leave our 7 year old).

    Over the years I have accepted him and for the sake of unified parenting I have not argued with him about the fact that he shouts at everyone and is too harsh on the kids but I am starting to think that actually I should be standing up for them and maybe I could do better on my own.

    if I am totally honest I think we are still together mainly because I am terrified of being on my own. I am no good with diy type things although I have always been in control of the money so at least that's something. I have anxiety issues and don't go out that much and my friend has said she will support me if I leave him but I am still scared that something will happen to make me so anxious I cant look after the kids alone even though I know this is highly unlikely.

    I am just fed up of worrying about what mood he will be in next.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    TIA

    Would you be happy if your children - especially your sons - grow up and act in the same manner as your OH? You say that his parents "disown their children" from time to time - he has learned this behaviour as acceptable from them, and your own children could do the same.

    As others have said - make a list - two columns - the pros and the cons. Not having DIY skills is a poor excuse for staying in a poor marriage.

    Had you thought that his behaviour may well be fuelling your anxieties?
  • fairy_lights
    fairy_lights Posts: 9,220 Forumite
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    eveie189 wrote: »
    In fact at the moment he has not spoken to her for 3 weeks because she told the school that she thinks he hates her. To me his reaction is not acceptable even though I can understand him feeling hurt.
    Good grief, no wonder she thinks he hates her if he will behave like that towards her. Wouldn't most parents reaction to hearing that their child had said something like that be to find out why she felt that way? You say he is a good parent but from the way you describe it really doesn't sound like he is.
  • eveie189
    eveie189 Posts: 301 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. To be honest I think I have lost a lot of sense of what normal respectful relationships are. I know that I seem to have just let go a lot of things I would have challenged him on in the past simply because there is no point arguing. He never thinks he is in the wrong. He has never said sorry to me for anything. Guess I need to man up and do what's right for us. I have to be careful though because I know once I decide to tell him he will make things difficult for me. Do you think it would be wiser to tell him it's over when I know I will be moving out or tell him now?
    We are at the too of the housing list for the area I want to live so when a house comes up I should get it. I was thinking of waiting till then. It would still give him time to sort himself out. I just feel so deceiving but whilst we are still in this house I can't afford the rent on my own as it is more than the local housing allowance rate.
    April GC 9th-7th may £0/£320
  • SailorSam
    SailorSam Posts: 22,754 Forumite
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    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
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