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Would you stay together?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 38.5%
  • No

    Votes: 8 61.5%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I will try to keep this brief, yet detailed enough to give a clear picture. Ivan been married for 10 years, we got married within a year of meeting each other. The first 6 months of our relationship were intense, we were likely both on the rebound (but denied it at the time), and I had moved with work over to another county. Met my husband, Mike, and quickly he moved into my flat and we spent a lot of time together. We had a lot of sex but it was intimate and we got on great. I found him very reliable. We got engaged and then one day he was upset when I cam home from work, he said he had "dropped everyone for me". I explained I'd never asked him to (I was quite shocked as he hadn't mentioned missing anything/anyone and of course I'd just moved so i didnt really have a life there yet so perhaps overlooked that he had). Anyway, things changed and very soon he did his own thing. A lot. I went along with it, I didnt want to moan or seem needy, and actually I was busy with work and I enjoy my own company so it was fine. I just used to work and go to the gym to fill in the time that he was doing his thing (surfing). I did feel lonely, but I never really asked him to change.

We got married. Wedding wasn't great. I'm not doing well with keeping things short, but basically we were already going to Hawaii for a surf trip, so decided to get married there. I had said if we get married abroad I didnt want anyone to go because my mum is disabled and cant travel and I didn't have anyone who could afford that trip, so if he wanted people there then we do it at home. We agreed just us. Then his parents asked to come, that was fine. Then his best friend wanted to come with his wife. I got upset and explained it would be like the "Mike show" and I would feel very insecure having no one on "my side". We fell out because he said his best friend was like his brother and I didnt get it. I do get it. But it isnt how i wanted it. Anyway my aunty came for me, which was lovely, and I paid for my sister and family to go, I felt like I begged them if I'm honest because it was the other side of the world and they had tiny children. But they came and I felt happy about that, but Mike and I never really overcame the issues with communication.

Just a few days after the wedding we had a row, silly really, but he said something like he would be happy as long as he got his surfing holidays with the lads, and I questioned it and said well we have just got married so I think we will talk about stuff like that, to which he snapped and I felt like a bunny boiler so I just laughed it off. But I remember thinking omg we dont even know what we expect from each other. Even at this point, on our wedding holiday, and less than a year into the relationship, intimacy was lacking. We hardly ever had sex. He didnt seem to want to and would turn me down. I just let it go.

In our first year of marriage we had real issues with intimacy. We would go weeks without having sex. We often wouldnt do anything together as a couple really. A couple of months before our first wedding anniversary he told me he was going on a surf trip to Indonesia with his best friend, if I'm honest now I probably felt jealous/left out, lonely, but I didnt say that, I made out it was fine. The only thing that I did complain about was he was flying 2 days before our wedding anniversary so he would miss it, the date was decided to suit his friends work, so I made a childish comment about his work being more important than our marriage. I then planned a trip to Thailand to do some volunteering and I did this alone. On this trip I decided the marriage was never going to work and I was going to tell him it was over when I next saw him (I was flying to meet him and his friends in Indonesia). The first night I arrived, he picked me up from the airport and then when we got to the accommodation he went out with his friends and I was left in the room for hours. When he came back I tried to discuss how poor things were but then he got a stomach bug and I spent the time looking after him instead (I am a nurse, ha)! Things did improve and I guess we just plodded on.
The next couple of years were ok. Never great. Never dire. We had some laughs and actually the intimacy probably did improve a little. We did share a passion for travelling and went on some good city breaks etc.
We then had a baby. Who is the best thing ever. Things were good at this point, he was a fantastic daddy, loved her, we moved away from where there was surf (for work reasons) and we had a good family unit. The baby was great and when I went back to work we pulled together well. My husband wanted another child as he hates being an only child, and I agreed, and fell pregnant much quicker than I expected. We then moved again (work), and things went dramatically downhill. I changed my job from Monday-Friday to back working shifts (for financial reasons and the cost of nursery for 2 babies). We argued every time I had to go to work. He seemed to hate doing any childcare. He took up triathlon and lots of spare time and money went on this.
By the time the baby was due I think I hated him. I had taken 2 weeks agency work when I started my leave from the NHS, 36-38 weeks pregnant, but the money was great and the role was so easy, it meant my husband had to look after our then just turned 2yr old (who was a dream child), I felt so so bad about doing the work and making him provide the childcare. I really battled with myself over doing it, but it was his 40th and he wanted to do the ironman in Lanzarote, the trip was going to cost over 2k and that is what I was using the money for from these two weeks work. I paid is as his birthday gift. Whilst I was on this agency contract I discovered he had got into a lot of debt. Probably around 20k. We had a joint account and I worked very hard yet there was never any money and I hadnt looked into why to be honest, I think I just lwt him convince me that is what life costs etc. But I found out and he apologised and told me it would never happen again. He has spent the money on his hobbies, like an example is his pedals were £750! He had just bought everything he wanted. We agreed to separate finances and that is what we have done since and we just pay 50% of the bills each. I probably was too easy on him but I was just about to have a baby and I didnt have the energy to fight.
When the baby was born things got worse. He didnt bond at all with him. He trained even harder because he was getting really good at triathlon now. I just did my own thing. We resented each other. He used to say things like I didn't support him in his passion, sport was who he was etc etc. And I used to say he didnt support me in helping with the children or cooking etc. It was so so ****! I used to fantasise about leaving all of the time.
When I went back to work after baby no2, I used to do 2 x 12hr hospital shifts a week. My husband worked (in a gym) monday-friday. He hated if I worked a weekend, but I used to request a Sunday because it was time plus 60% and it meant we didnt need to pay for childcare for 2 kids for that shift. So essentially saved £200 a week with these factors. He never saw the importance of this, despite the money issues. We continued to argue and never really saw each others point of view on anything.
We moved into the house we are in now in 2019. Things got even worse. I increased my hours and got a promotion. He hated that. Whenever I wasnt at work I would avoid him and take the kids with me for an easy life, but it did make the wedge greater. Lockdown was a real challenge because he stayed home to look after the childrens and as a nurse I didnt have that luxury. He thought I had it easier going to work, was angry, expecting me to do everything when I got home, whereas i thought he was lucky to be paid to be at home, safe, with the kids! We drifted further apart. Last year was the worst. He started criticising me as a parent. Had a huge row for me feeding the kids cheesy pasta one day, wrote a long critical text because I had forgotten to get eggs in the shop one day (he said I go above and beyond for the nhs but my family get the dregs). Now, if there is one thing I know I am good at, and that is being a mummy. The kids get everything! And usually eggs Haha! So I decided it was over. I moved into the spare room and told him I was done. Initially he seemed to agree. One day I confided in a man that we knew mutually. Happened to see him at the school gates and we spent the whole day together talking. He validated my claims that I was perfect and the marriage was terrible. I had started an emotional affair. Suddenly he seemed "perfect". A true gent. the absolute opposite of my husband in every way. My husband then had what he calls an epiphany and he was so sorry for the whole relationship. Declared his undying love. Then found out about my affair. Handled it amazingly well. I hated seeing Mike hurt so I agreed to try counselling. Stopped contact with this other man. Since then, 6 months ago, I found out my husband got into another huge amount of debt (he was lucky enough to pay the last 20k off with his army retirement money), but we are back in same position again, but he has been much easier to live with. He tried so hard to make me fall back in love with him. And at one point I thought I could. We have had a laugh again. I enjoy the time as a family. My kids are now 6 and 4, and they adore us being together. My husband is so much better as a father. But I just dont love him. I hate the thought of being intimate. I avoid him if I can. He is really handsome and I said to him last night that I feel like this and life is too short. He is so upset. He said it is a shock, I really think he believed we could turn it all round, and maybe we can. But I just feel he is not, and never has been, the "one". I cant bare the thought of splitting the family up. I've no idea how it would work logistically. But can we spend the rest of our lives like this? It has never felt right. I know this sounds so childish, but I connected so much more with this man in November. I just keep thinking what if we could both be so much happier in out lives than we are together. But then I feel terrible for not putting the children first.
Has anyone managed to successfully stay together for the children?
Thank you for reading this x
 

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For me I could never leave a marriage without serious abuse or adultery if it meant only seeing my children for half the week. Especially when they are still so young. That's just me, many seem to be able to do it. My children always came first before what I wanted.
As for the other man was he married? Guess what, he and his wife probably have issues as well, he isn't perfect, you aren't perfect, I am not perfect .Your fantasies about him are not real life. They are just that, fantasies.

Yes I know several couples who worked through many difficulties but stayed together for the children. Still together decades later long after the children left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For me I could never leave a marriage if it meant only seeing my children for half the week. Especially when they are still so young. That's just me, many seem to be able to do it. My children always came first before what I wanted.
As for the other man was he married? Guess what, he and his wife probably have issues as well, he isn't perfect, you aren't perfect, I am not perfect .Your fantasies about him are not real life. They are just that, fantasies.
Thank you for your reply. I agree with both parts. In November when I was "certain" I was leaving, I remember coming home fro work one night and crying myself to sleep over that precise thing! Not being in the same house as my babies every night. I have no idea how this would work, I expect my husband would want 50% of their time, and I would not want to fight him or demand more of their time than him because I'm a woman. But it does really hurt at the thought. Sometimes I think I just cant do it. And then I think god I have to! I wanted to buy the house over the road from ours, so that they never needed to choose which house to be in as they were both there. But I think this is never going to be the reality.
We arent arguing now. We did, but not since his epiphany. It has been a calm home. But there is no connection between us as a couple, just as parents.
You hated each other, but you managed to have a second child when things were really bad. The whole story is quite unbelievable, to be honest.
Erm thanks for your time! I didnt say we hated each other when we decided to have another child. I said we had been a good unit following becoming parents but before the second child was born things deteriorated.
 

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Thank you for your reply. I agree with both parts. In November when I was "certain" I was leaving, I remember coming home fro work one night and crying myself to sleep over that precise thing! Not being in the same house as my babies every night. I have no idea how this would work, I expect my husband would want 50% of their time, and I would not want to fight him or demand more of their time than him because I'm a woman. But it does really hurt at the thought. Sometimes I think I just cant do it. And then I think god I have to! I wanted to buy the house over the road from ours, so that they never needed to choose which house to be in as they were both there. But I think this is never going to be the reality.
We arent arguing now. We did, but not since his epiphany. It has been a calm home. But there is no connection between us as a couple, just as parents.


Erm thanks for your time! I didnt say we hated each other when we decided to have another child. I said we had been a good unit following becoming parents but before the second child was born things deteriorated.
It may make it easier if you could afford a house very close by so they could maybe be based in one home but pop in to see the other parent when they could. If you could both agree to that it could work.
 

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Somethings confusing me. He was an absent dad who filled weekends with hobbies, and was never home and never wanted to do anything together.

He’s also a doting dad looking after the kids full time and then complaining you’re working on Sundays and feeding the kids crap food, and that you’re not home with the family?

Which one is true?

I also have a vague sense you may be very controlling. From the very beginning it seems.
 

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Did it.
I bitterly regret.
Some years later I stayed with my kids, she left to "follow her dreams".
Though was not easy I don´t regret rising my kids as a single father.
 

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I ran out of gas a quarter of the way through your original post, so I will answer your question in a general sense, without all the details..

Millions do....Despite what a lot of people lead you to believe, most kids don't really care what's best for their parents, they care what's best for them, and being displaced, being shuttled around from one crappy household to another(two live cheaper/better than one-usually) by angry and bitter divorced parents isn't in a child's best interests, although it may be in the best interests and a necessity for the parents...Kids don't care or even understand the intimacy/sexual part either and even if they did, wouldn't care about it, if it meant that their lives are negatively affected...

i've known guys that wound up practically never being involved in their kids life post divorce, not by choice, but because they had to work 2 or more jobs to pay alimony, child support, and whatever left to sustain themselves in a crappy apartment...Date? Are you kidding?

If the love is gone, and there isn't a lot of fighting and arguing, I don't know why many parents don't at least consider it as an option..If the house is big enough, you can easily live almost 2 separate lives and continue to parent the children in one singular household..They can remain in their school, keep their stuff and friends, and nothing much about their life changes..

I's not for everyone or situation, but it happens...at the end of the day, its a personal decision, but to answer the basic question, yes it's done and success is something that not everyone measures the same way, so you can't really quantify it in black and white terms..
 

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I'm with @hamadryad. You knew what your husband was like before you married him, and married him anyway. You knew what he was like pre children, yet had not one but two children anyway.

Divorce is utterly devastating for children, the bottom literally falls out of their world and the damage and impact is lifelong. Then add in step parents, step siblings and it becomes more crap they have to deal with - crap that they are not responsible for, and they don’t have any control over it. And I'm a step parent.

Read the book 'Primal Loss', it will break your heart.

Barring abuse/violence/addiction, obviously, divorce shouldn't be an option.

I don't say this to be harsh, but why should your children have to pay for your poor choices now that you have realised your error?

I'll get lots of notifications about this reply, of people disagreeing with me, I'm fully aware of that, so have at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
And that's supposed to be a marriage? He sounds like a spoilt brat throwing tantrums.
I wouldn't trust his current 'turnaround' to last. Leopards don't change their spots that easily.

Why not go see a lawyer, i.e. what the financial outcome would be. With his attitude to money? Child support? Ask H what child custody he would want. While he might say 50%, you might end up having your kids 70% of the time. I did with an ex who was similar regarding his hobby. Our whole lives used to revolve around it, where we went on holidays, the time he spent on it at the weekends. It was expensive too. Custody was 50% on paper which is what I was paid. My sacrifice was my financial situation, I didn't want to take him to court because I knew the likely effect on the kids & I knew what his attitude would be. I'm paying the price to this very day, but never regretted leaving, 3 kids, the youngest was 3.

I felt pretty much the way you do now, the history was similar. I had a 'me me me' H. I think I stopped loving him years before I left. In fact I'm sure of it. I only delayed leaving not because of the kids, but because I couldn't afford to financially. If Mum is happy, the kids are happy. You're never going to be 'happy' if you stay.

I don't believe in sacrificing ones life 'for the kids'. There's a broken home when parents separate, the there's the other type of broken home, when parents stay together & one doesn't love other etc. Kids, even when very young pick up the negative vibes, way more than they are given credit for.

I'm surprised you stayed in love with him for this long.

Information gather at least so you have a good idea of what a divorce would entail. Right now you're working in the dark. You can give him another year to see if his epiphany continues. However, I think it's too late for you to fall in love with him again. That horse probably bolted long ago, and you've been band-aiding it ever since, maybe even from the beginning. It was a pretty bad start.

Don't have affairs, but you knew that already. Don't fracture another home & destroy another family (if AP is married.) In fact I'd be inclined to tell AP's wife. I'd like to know if I was her, wouldn't you? And while the AP seemed wonderful, he mightn't turn out to so wonderful down the track. It's always like that at the start whether it's a normal relationship or an A.

Maybe your H has done the 'turnaround' because he knows that he won't be as well off financially if you divorce, not quite so cushy, especially as he spends so much on his hobbies. Has he done the 'turnaround' financially too? If so when?

20K of debt you din't know about, only 6 months ago? That could have bought the kids a lot and while a poster mentioned that he was a doting Dad now, as you did, and it did seem odd, I'd hardly describe that being a doting Dad, i.e. spending 20K of the family's money on himself? No wonder you have to work the way you do, not just now but for most of your marriage. The extra you earned seemed to have mostly been spent on his surfing or whatever. From how you described it, I can't see it any other way than he being the controlling one, not you.

Too little, too late. . .
You seem to really really understand. Thank you. To be fair to him, he has been different since his epiphany and the crazy spending has stopped. We no longer spend all of our time pursuing his hobbies. I'm unsure he could have done anything more to turn things around, but I think "the horse has already bolted" may just be the case x
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ran out of gas a quarter of the way through your original post, so I will answer your question in a general sense, without all the details..

Millions do....Despite what a lot of people lead you to believe, most kids don't really care what's best for their parents, they care what's best for them, and being displaced, being shuttled around from one crappy household to another(two live cheaper/better than one-usually) by angry and bitter divorced parents isn't in a child's best interests, although it may be in the best interests and a necessity for the parents...Kids don't care or even understand the intimacy/sexual part either and even if they did, wouldn't care about it, if it meant that their lives are negatively affected...

i've known guys that wound up practically never being involved in their kids life post divorce, not by choice, but because they had to work 2 or more jobs to pay alimony, child support, and whatever left to sustain themselves in a crappy apartment...Date? Are you kidding?

If the love is gone, and there isn't a lot of fighting and arguing, I don't know why many parents don't at least consider it as an option..If the house is big enough, you can easily live almost 2 separate lives and continue to parent the children in one singular household..They can remain in their school, keep their stuff and friends, and nothing much about their life changes..

I's not for everyone or situation, but it happens...at the end of the day, its a personal decision, but to answer the basic question, yes it's done and success is something that not everyone measures the same way, so you can't really quantify it in black and white terms..
Thank you. And I know the post was ridiculously long, sorry!

I'd not ask him for any money. I have a good wage (more than him to be fair), so he wouldnt need to work an extra job or anything to pay me.

We have a spare room in our home and I did move in here for s couple of months last year. Maybe that could work in the short term, the kids seemed unaffected. We arent screaming at each other. Definitely not. And i think I agree about the kids just needing us. Thanks.
I'm with @hamadryad. You knew what your husband was like before you married him, and married him anyway. You knew what he was like pre children, yet had not one but two children anyway.

Divorce is utterly devastating for children, the bottom literally falls out of their world and the damage and impact is lifelong. Then add in step parents, step siblings and it becomes more crap they have to deal with - crap that they are not responsible for nor that they have any control over it. And I'm a step parent.

Read the book 'Primal Loss', it will break your heart.

Barring abuse/violence/addiction, obviously, divorce shouldn't be an option.

I don't say this to be harsh, but why should your children have to pay for your poor choices now that you have realised your error?

I'll get lots of notifications about this reply, of people disagreeing with me, I'm fully aware of that, so have at it.
I wouldnt send a bad response. I partly agree. Hence I've stayed. Before my second baby was born I was so unhappy and my husband changed for the worse, yet almost 5 years later I am here. I have overlooked my needs to be honest, well not exactly, my needs are the children being happy and they have been. I've always been ok with this.

I will order the book now as I probably need to know the potential damage on the children. Who like you point out are innocent in this. Absolutely.
 

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Erm thanks for your time! I didnt say we hated each other when we decided to have another child. I said we had been a good unit following becoming parents but before the second child was born things deteriorated.
Didn't sound like you loved each other much, then.... is that better? :giggle:

Regarding staying for the children: I did that... it didn't work.
 
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