Stay for the kids?

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Hello, I have been married for 14 (nearly 15) years. We have two kids, 11 and 8. House all paid off and no debts. Both around 40. The spark has gone though, and more than that, the past couple of years (since my parents moved back to the UK) have been really tough. A lot of that was my parents fault, but in some ways though, I think that my wife brought some of that on herself through unreasonable behaviour (she doesn't want my parents to have time alone with the kids, or in fact even if I am there and she isn't). And she doesn't really forgive/forget (and so move on) easily. I guess the last six months has made it clear how unreasonable and controlling she can be.

Despite the controlling bit though, she is a great, devoted mother. Superb. Almost everything is about the kids and for the kids.

The problem is, she thinks I am lazy (I am out of the house from 0600 - 1800 working, and then help in the evenings when I get home until the kids go to bed at 2000-2015. I also cook on the weekend (both days) and help there too, I am not someone who spends a lot of time out with friends, away from home etc.), and I don't think she respects me any longer. She is often quick tempered, especially if things are not done here way. The way she handles person relationships (like my parents for example) is a problem too, but obviously pales in terms of making sure the kids have a good up-bringing.

So what do I do?

Part of me feels like I should leave. I earn the money (she doesn't work), and as bitter as it sounds, she would soon appreciate me if I wasn't there (I think). Quickly going through budgets, I could pay the maintenance and still afford a little flat to live in. I would get by. I strongly suspect she would need to get a job though, and the lifestyle of the kids would no doubt suffer (I would be more than happy to pay more than the figure on the CMS website calculator, but it still won't be the same for the kids). I think they have a pretty good environment at the moment (not in terms of material things, but experiences) and a lot of that would have to change.

So do I stay? Stay in a relationship where I am not sure I want to be there (I can't believe I think this, but there are times I almost wish she would tell me to go), but where (I think) the kids are better off, and I can struggle through? Especially as I think I still love her? I am sure I can, but I want changes.

She said she almost left me last year (because of disagreements over my parents seeing the kids). I really don't think she has any idea how hard things would be if I wasn't around (even if she has the house). Or maybe I don't see how easy she would actually have it?
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  • System
    System Posts: 178,102 Community Admin
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    Sounds to me like you want to leave to punish her. How would you feel if she didnt ask you to come back?
  • Guest101
    Guest101 Posts: 15,764 Forumite
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    Have you actually spoken to her about how you feel?
  • Rambosmum
    Rambosmum Posts: 2,445 Forumite
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    Don't stay for the kids, but equally don't leave with the hope of getting back together when she realises how unreasonable she is - firstly, she may never realise it and secondly that's a big mess for the kids. A well managed breakup is much much better than a poorly managed marriage.
  • quarky
    quarky Posts: 52 Forumite
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    Judi,

    Thanks, was an interesting point of view. One that made me think.

    No, is isn't to punish her. I guess I am getting less and less convinced that we can remain happy together. I made some major sacrifices (I feel) over her treatment of my parents, but it has to work both ways too. Give and take. For me, I want appreciation and respect (don't we all) and I am not sure if she is able to see that, or make any changes to make it happen.

    You question did make me think though. What worries me is that I might *not* want to go back, well, I would for the kids but I am not sure I would want to just for her... And I feel like crap for even thinking that.


    Guest101, I don't like confrontation so am not great at it. Planning on doing it next week though.
  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,050 Forumite
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    Please don't make any decisions until you have both 'talked' about everything.

    Many relationships lose their 'spark' after a number of years and because divorce is relatively easy these days (and there's no stigma attached) may people make decisions to leave without trying to address the issues.

    Without a doubt lack of communication is a vital part of maintaining a relationship and I don't mean the every day exchange of conversation.

    You need time to discuss everything - your parents/your roles in the house/how you can make her happy/how she can make you happy.

    You can get some outside help to discuss your relationship or you can make time where you can get together and discuss things.

    Lots of things you say make me believe that there are issues to be sorted and also reasons to give your marriage a chance.
  • Person_one
    Person_one Posts: 28,884 Forumite
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    Well it doesn't sound as though you like her very much! What is good about your relationship?

    Two things though.

    1. You doing some housework is not 'helping', as though its only her responsibility and you're doing her some sort of favour by chipping in. You're an adult, you live in the house and you made the children, its your job as much as it is hers.

    2. You mention issues with your parents, and say that your wife doesn't want to 'forgive and forget'. This strongly implies that there was something to forgive in the first place. Its hard to give an objective opinion unless we know what went on, keep it vague if you need to, but for all we know it could be completely reasonable and sensible for your wife to want her children protected from your parents.
  • quarky
    quarky Posts: 52 Forumite
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    Person_One,


    1) Helping. Correct, and I agree about responsibility, but then I am out at work all day (whereas she doesn't work). I am happy with that arrangement in general, but working all day, coming home and helping clear up the house, and bath/bed the kids, as well as doing all the weekend dinners (and the cleaning afterwards) seem fairly reasonable to me. I am not a saint, but I feel I more than pull my weight. Maybe not though? If she was out at work the same hours, I would expect a 50/50 split of household duties. That isn't the case though.


    2) My parents (over)stayed with us when they moved back. They were with us for about six weeks during which there were arguments about cleanliness, the washing machine, etc. Noting major in my opinion (again though, I accept that it is only mine and she obviously feels different).




    Thanks for the comments everyone. Hopefully we will talk it all out next week and I will feel very silly.
  • quarky
    quarky Posts: 52 Forumite
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    Sorry, one more thing. I guess what scares me too, is the next "issue". I suspect she will not want to see my extended family over Xmas (which we always did). I also suspect that this may extend to not wanting me to take the kids with me either. I really don't think I will be able to accept that...
  • Pixie5740
    Pixie5740 Posts: 14,515 Forumite
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    quarky wrote: »


    1) Helping. Correct, and I agree about responsibility, but then I am out at work all day (whereas she doesn't work). I am happy with that arrangement in general, but working all day, coming home and helping clear up the house, and bath/bed the kids, as well as doing all the weekend dinners (and the cleaning afterwards) seem fairly reasonable to me. I am not a saint, but I feel I more than pull my weight. Maybe not though? If she was out at work the same hours, I would expect a 50/50 split of household duties. That isn't the case though.

    Is the housework really being split 50/50 or does your wife actually do the lion's share being a SAHM?

    Since both of your children are now at school would your wife consider getting a part time job?

    quarky wrote: »
    2) My parents (over)stayed with us when they moved back. They were with us for about six weeks during which there were arguments about cleanliness, the washing machine, etc. Noting major in my opinion (again though, I accept that it is only mine and she obviously feels different).

    I would be unimpressed if guests, who had overstayed their welcome, started critising the cleanliness of my home and other things in my home. That's just rude. Is this the only thing your parents have done or have they done something that would make your wife not want your parents to be left alone with the children.



    quarky wrote: »
    Judi,



    Guest101, I don't like confrontation so am not great at it. Planning on doing it next week though.

    There is a huge difference between confrontation and sitting down and opening a dialogue with your wife about your marriage.

    It sounds as though you haven't tried talking with your wife and just to avoid what might be an awkward conversation you are looking at leaving as the first course of action.

    Talk....suggest some form of relationship counselling if necessary. Then if you still feel as though the marriage cannot continue that's when you think about separating. At least you'll both know you tried and there would be a better chance of a well planned breakup.
  • gabriel1980
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    Yeah I echo what everyone is saying - you really need to talk about this - maybe she's completely unaware of how you feel. If you don't mind my asking, are you still being intimate?
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