Op--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
What is the timeframe from the 'epihany' to now? Meaning, how long has he been easy to live with?
Did he completely give up the surfing and/or triathalons then? for you?