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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I have been alone with my thoughts for so long regarding whether to stay in my marriage or not that it prompted me to find a forum to ask for advice.

Our situation is that we have been married 12 years. Have a 10 year old and a 7 year old. When I met my husband I was in a low period of my life. Very low self esteem... didn't feel I fit in with my family... I didn't have the best relationship with my father (a good provider but at times volatile and not emotionally available at all) and I think this is the prime reason that my love relationships have not gone well through out my life. I realize this now after YEARS of marriage counseling but not when I met my husband 15 years ago.

When we met we had a lot of fun together.... but I realized after settling down that I married "my father", my husband was a good provider but we were not connected emotionally. This became very apparent after having our first child. We lived near his family, away from my family... I didn't know many people, was very lonely, had some postpartum depression, etc. He, rather than loving me and helping me through this time or having any compassion how hard it would be to be alone all the time with a new baby in an area where I didn't know anyone, he belittled me for not appreciating what a nice life he was providing for me. Now, through time I have come to realize that to be "rich" has very little to do with how much money you have. The more he treated me like I had no right to my feelings, the stronger (and more negative) my feelings became which pushed him away even more. It was a negative downward spiral that pulled us apart (not that there was much of a connection to start with).

I spend many years feeling like a square peg in a round hole (much the same feeling I had growing up in my family, being that I was the "difficult middle child"). The area we live in (my husband's hometown) is affluent, whereas I grew up comfortable but definitely not anything approaching the way my husband grew up (full time maid, full time nanny, etc). This difference in our socio-economic backgrounds has played a role in our trouble as well. Further compounding the issue is that his mother never liked me and we live close to her. I had been married before and she identified (probably correctly) that we weren't suited for each other. It's been hard being near to her and feeling her criticism (although I have through the years grown into a person much more confident and therefore what she sends my way doesn't affect me as it once did).

Our sex life fell apart about 2 years into the marriage. In the past ten years I can count on two hands how many times we have had sex. This includes becoming pregnant with my second child. This was a spectacular show of having my head in the sand that we were in any shape to bring another child into what was clearly a dsyfunctional family (but God sent me a wonderful girl with an incredible sense of humor and she is the comic relief in our wounded family and I feel very blessed to have her in my life). In the past 7 years we have not had sex at all.

Much of this is due to the lack of an emotional connection and some is due to my being sort of repulsed by him. He has done some really gross things through the years that have turned me off in a way that I can't seem to get by. For instance, blowing his nose into his hand and then licking the snot!!, or using the toilet (#2) and leaving it for me to flush. Or letting me arrange neatly his clothes and then in a gesture similar to putting your middle finger up on someone, crumpling up his clothes and tossing in a corner to make me feel idiotic for thinking I could make him care about himself, our closet, my wish for some semblance of order. HE is a very messy, and disorganized person and the chaos he brings into our life is hard for me to live with. Bills being paid let, the IRS calling because our taxes weren't filed, etc. etc...

He has many excellent qualities and we have many friends in common so when we are invited to places outside the house we do have fun (not necessarily with each other but more at a party where he is with the men and I am with the women).

When we are home it is very stressful and tense for me to live under the same roof with someone I have no connection with. I sleep in a seperate room, have for years. The pressure of trying not to let the outside world know how messed up things are for us is hard. I feel I am living a lie. BUT to change things and split up would be devastating for the kids.

He is not abusive. He is having trouble in his life. Hasn't worked in a long time, isn't making any money.. .seems to have trouble picking himself up and getting back to work. Mainly I think because he is depressed over the marriage. The marriage counselor said he is probably going to be stuck in place until he is on his own (meaning without me, she felt we should split up, that there was too much animosity and we didn't have enough in common and furthermore that there wasn't enough of a base built in the first place).

I hate the thought of putting the kids through this but also hate the thought of staying in this when in my heart I know I can never share the same bed with him and will continue to feel this stress of living a life that is so far from ideal.

Please, can anyone offer an opinion on what you'd do if you were me or if you have been in the same situation? sorry so long
 

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I understand how you feel. I have been staying in an unhappy marriage for my kids. We can't afford two places so we have to sell our home this summer. My oldest will be 18 in March and done with high school. My daughter is 12 and has been having a harder time because she was curious one day after her dad was online and clicked on the history and was exposed to PORN at age 10. She was afraid to tell anyone for a year. she went from straight A's to D's and F's. I went to a therapist and told her what was going on and then my daughter told us both what had happened. This story is long and complicated, so I will get to my suggestion.

I learned so much in therapy and how to communicate with my kids and I did everything the therapist advised. Your kids will mirror your feelings. So do whatever you need to do to be happy. If that means a divorce then do it. My kids can see there is no love between me and their father and that this is not how a happy couple acts. I have told them that I tried everything possible to make it work and they understand why it has to end. They know it has nothing to do with them. I have given them time to get used to what is coming and am trying to keep life normal and myself happy. Their dad is gone all the time and comes home drunk. I don't go out and have no desire to. I show them and tell them how much I love them every day and they are doing fine. Have the therapist work with them if you divorce. It will help! Kids respond so well honesty and the therapist can explain things to them in an appropriate manner so they learn how to express their emotions in a healthy way. You can break the cycle so they don't have a relationship like we did. It can be so toxic for everyone to live in a house full of tension. Trust me, you are not doing them a favor by living this way. Make a change for the better.
 

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I will never understand the concept of 'staying together for the kids'. Do you really think they can't sense the unhappiness and dysfunction all around them?? Do you really think growing up in such an environment is going to turn them into better adults than if they grow up with two happy, separated parents??

Having a mother and father living under the same roof does NOT automatically equal well adjusted children!!

I've been a single mom twice, and I know for a fact that if I had not left their father when they were 4, 2 and 4 months, we'd be miserable today and my two boys would probably be in jail or on probation or worse. BEST thing I ever did. Kicking out my hubby on D day was also the very best thing I did in a while.

Two parents under the same roof is very rarely what's 'best for the kids' if they can't really stand each other and are unhappy and resentful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi and thank you to each of your for your responses...

If it weren't for the kids we'd be divorced a long time ago.. figured out that we were a mis-match long ago, BUT oh the kids - they are so sweet and innocent and did nothing to deserve the broken home they'll be raised in. They are still young, 8 and 10.

Our MC said that it is better for kids to be in an intact home even if it is less than ideal (short of an abuse situation which is not what we have here) than to be in a broken home. Having said that, she still feels we should split up essentially because in tough times, couples need to draw upon the happy memories they built in earlier days and upon the connection they forged and unfortunately we can't really do that. The majority of our marriage has been "off".

The fear of the unknown is killing me... mostly the unknown of what this will do to the kids, long term and short term.

They are pretty attached to their dad since he has been out of work for so long and is around a lot more than the typical dad would be. I think it will heighten the sense of seperation for them given this fact.

Also, we don't fight much (not close enough to really even fight) particularly around them so it might come as a shock, although my older child has come across clues over the last couple of years and has flipped out upon these occassions so he at least should know that this didn't come out of left field, but that won't necessarily make it any easier.
 

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Your kids already live in a broken home. Fix it, by splitting up, and being happy. I don't care what your counselor said, it simply is not true that all kids are better off with their parents living together. How can it possibly be? Think about it.
 

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The best thing my mother ever did was leave my father. I was 13. We were all happier!
Your councillor is talking rubbish, sorry!
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