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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm hoping some of you here can relate and perhaps advise or share your thoughts on what I can do.

Background:
I'm married and been in my relationship for 20 years now. We have 3 children aged 12, 9 and 7. My husband is a very good father and I always want him to be in our children's lives. We both know what it's like to be raised by single parents. He is my first true love and I will always love him although I think now this has to be as a friend rather than in a relationship.


Now:
As a wife I've run out of steam to look after the relationship and have never quite been comfortable to ask for what I want. I find it hard to be vulnerable even though I've come a really long way. I've been here several times already!!

I've had a big issue with my husbands commitment to playing computer, which I don't feel that he or many people I've mentioned this to, really understand. I believe it is an addiction and feel that my husband has been unfaithful to me for most of our years we've been together to be honest.

I go to bed alone most nights, we don't do much together apart from take care of the home and family. We rarely have sex. My libido is embarrassingly high as is my neediness to be taken care of and be shown affection and attention I suppose. When we have gone out or done something different, I've been the one who's arranged it...the revolving story has become so boring I won't bore you with it...if you've been here you know how it goes.

In between looking after the house and our children, the computer is the next stop. He is not lazy in many respects, although at times it feels like simply because the big things in our lives like me working, managing finances and family life decisions usually are for me to look after. This is a massive responsibility.

**Please don't suggested we try counselling or any other form of help to stay in the relationship/marriage.**
With all due respect we've been there and back and neither of us are making the effort to make it work. We went for relationship coaching and it helped for a few months...now we're back to the same page as we were. I feel like such an idiot for letting my guard down and agreeing to try again.

Anyway, I got to a point of ending our marriage this year because I had to be honest about the way I felt. I'd run out of options. What's strange is that we spoke more maturely and openly about this once I'd told him how I felt. He made it clear he didn't want to lose us and I eventually agreed to try one more time - with help. I noticed that NOT being in a relationship with him made me feel so much better.

I'd been feeling so obligated to staying in the relationship (been with him since I was 16), that I actually looked forward to just being on my own and looking after myself for a change. Although I wasn't looking after myself. I still had the children to look after. That made it worse to have theirs and my emotions to deal with. I didn't like it all.

So now I'm wondering how to go about dealing with this again. I know a lot of people say it's not good to stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the children. What scares me is having to manage all the arrangements to separate. It's a lot for me to deal with and we've already done this once this year. Also I refuse to let him run away from the responsibility of being here for our children, which I find really shocking that dads (in my experience) seem to be able to do so easily.

I'm not interested in being in another relationship. In fact the only one I need to nurture is the one with myself. I deeply regret not giving myself the chance to do that in my life so far and that really hurts more than anything else. I'm so young and am supposed to have my whole life ahead of me but it feels like it's over already and I haven't really experienced some of the things I wanted to yet....

Sorry I've digressed....so how can I stay as friends with him, raising our children together and nurture myself? Have any of you done this and have things work out? I'm not sure if I'm being unrealistic here or not:(
 

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Hi there,

I'm sorry but I never managed to have a success with staying friends with my ex and getting him understand of his responsibility of being around for our daughter. I'll be honest with you, it was like going through the hell. But I made it through and am convinced it was the right decision.

Would it be an option for you to get a counselling just by yourself for that specific purpose - to see the options of staying friends and being there for children? There seem to be lots of families where kids go to dad's place every other weekend, that would be Your time then.

About the arrangements to separate... again, in my experience, if I wouldn't have done it, my ex certainly wouldn't have. If both of you don't really agree on the need of separation then I wouldn't really hope any help with the arrangements.

I hope your family and friends are very supportive and can help and support you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi there,

I'm sorry but I never managed to have a success with staying friends with my ex and getting him understand of his responsibility of being around for our daughter. I'll be honest with you, it was like going through the hell. But I made it through and am convinced it was the right decision.

Would it be an option for you to get a counselling just by yourself for that specific purpose - to see the options of staying friends and being there for children? There seem to be lots of families where kids go to dad's place every other weekend, that would be Your time then.

About the arrangements to separate... again, in my experience, if I wouldn't have done it, my ex certainly wouldn't have. If both of you don't really agree on the need of separation then I wouldn't really hope any help with the arrangements.

I hope your family and friends are very supportive and can help and support you.
Thanks so much for replying. I think that because we don't argue much it's hard to imagine not being friends and things getting ugly.

I recently found a counselor for myself to talk about the isolation I was feeling. I'd attributed the loneliness I was feeling in the relationship down to my childhood though as opposed to feeling he should be responsible for making me happy. I was able to appreciate all that he does for me which lead to our conversation making me decide to go back. I felt I was being too selfish for feeling the way I did/do. So I guess I'm weary of being talked back into making the relationship work again.

I wish I could say my family was more supportive but they aren't. They assume that because we are in a family unit - compared to being single and struggling like they did - that we must be ok. I do have a few close friends I can talk to. I just prefer not to go on and on about the same problem.

I'm concerned about my children because when we separated earlier this year, they seemed to kick off and argue a lot more. We told them that we were having a difficult time and that dad was going away for a while but I had no idea that would happen and was rubbish at being a single parent.

How did your children take to the change?
 

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If you don't argue much then I'd hope you would be able to talk things through and stay friends, for kids sake at least.
My situation was a bit easier in that I had only 1 child then, 4 yr old daughter. Even thought my ex was never really engaging with her while we lived together, she got really anxious about the separation. There was about 3 months when she would just scream on the floor for an half an hour or more. Almost daily. Nothing helped, she just needed to get it out of her system, you can imagine how hard it was to deal with her emotions on top of mine own. It took a while until she settled with the new arrangements but it did.
7 yrs have passed since then and I've remarried, my husband raises her like his own daughter. We almost never have arguments but when we had at the beginning of the relationship, I could see her getting a bit nervous, not anymore.

It obviously is hard time for kids, they will be nervous and irritate easily - their whole world is turned upside down. I don't believe in staying together only because of kids, I've done that as well, doesn't work really and they know when you're not happy.

They WILL cope, it's important to remember that. If you and your husband are able to go through that time as a team, like parents should be, then it will be much easier for kids I think. Probably it would be easier for kids if you would agree on specific arrangements with your husband and explain these to kids so that they would know exactly what is going to happen. I mean like when you're not going to live in the same house, what days dad comes around, how can they keep in touch and of course that you both love them as you were before. I think, not knowing exactly what is going to happen might frighten them most.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just reading about what you and your daughter went through hurts me to read:(. Even though it was 7 years ago, I take my hat off to you.

It's making me think that maybe I do need to just bite the bullet, find him a place to live and get on with the inevitable. I say find him somewhere to live because each time he was supposed to be looking when we were supposed to go our separate ways, he did very little to actually move (even though he said he was looking) and made excuses aka carried on playing his computer games most of the day.

I guess I'm gonna have to think about what will work for me too as I really feel it's unfair for me to take on all of the emotional weight just because I'm the mum....I'm not looking forward to this yet again. What makes it worse is he has no idea I'm feeling this way again:(.

Do you mind sharing what didn't work for you first time round? Also how are things/you better in your current marriage?
 

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Hi there,

Hope you have had some time to think things through a bit more, it's not an easy decision to make or process to go through.

I didn't have internet for a while as we were moving a house. Not sure if you're still here looking for answers but I can share a bit.

I started living together with my ex when I was 18. I was madly in love but even then, we had lots of arguments on every kind of topic which usually ended with passionate make-ups. It was obvious that we were too different really but not to me. So, just to avoid arguments and keep him happy, young and naive as I was, I tried hard to do things he approved and skip my own needs and interests. He didn't have friends so it became a big problem that I had lots... I stopped hanging out with them without or with him because if I would invite him over I had to be like a babysitter, only sitting next to him and not talk with anybody else, etc. Eventually I started to realize that this relationship is not right for me but then I got pregnant, only 1 unprotected time it took... Through the pregnancy I couldn't decide whether to break up or try to fix it but I wasn't brave enough... chose to stay together and raise our daughter together. After 5yrs together we married, mostly because we intended to buy a house together and by the laws in our country I wouldn't have been protected if weren't married (in case of break up). After that things got worse even quicker, like he thought that he has me locked in and I can't leave whatever he does, so it was a daily thing to get a lecture of how life is not fair because women can just walk into a pub and get laid and it would not be as easy for men to get laid. He was convinced that if we weren't married, I would f..k around with every single man in neighborhood and he didn't seem to hear my words of loving him and only him nor my cuddles, kisses, holding hand or even that we had sex daily most of the time!!
I guess I just woke up after I came home after a long day at work, was late for about an hour because we started to chat with my colleague (female) and forgot the time, when I got home I went to have a shower like usually after hot day in the middle of summer. Probably he didn't know that I do this every day because he usually came home later than me. He ran to our laundry basket and sniffed my panties, saying that I want to cover my tracks with shower... The situation was just so idiotic that I was speechless. I realized on that moment that I had given everything to that man during 8 years, including giving up my real personality (which was completely my own fail), I had tried so hard to make him see that I was totally into him and no one else but he was unable to see it so there started divorce which turned out to be the ugliest and most awful time in my life (and probably so for my little cute daughter as well).

In my current marriage it took me some time to start to open up my real personality again and my husband is not jealous. He is a very gentle and nice man, helps me out at home and with kids. Things would be perfect if our sex life would be OK. Probably the biggest problem in our marriage is that he will not discuss any problems, he just won't talk - it is impossible to solve anything by being the only one who talks. I feel so helpless (and angry) when he just checks out from our marriage and acts like an ostrich believing that not talking equals not having problems. At the moment, I have so much going on that I just won't have the energy of going through of it all. Besides, I'm really afraid of being alone, don't know why really. With huge sadness in my heart I must say I see the boat sinking slowly. I wish I had someone I could talk about all that, someone who would help me through all of it on the day it all falls in - but we moved to another country 4 yrs ago and I don't have that kind of friend. It makes me so bloody sad that this wonderful man will not care about our relationship enough to actually start working for it - WITH ME. Hate that feeling of helplessness and how I have let this marriage change me again.
 

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I too have had been with a partner for 20 years. I have two children. I played computer games. I also had my own business and worked very hard. I used to cook for my children and pick them up and take them to school, and it was me alone that took them out for days and camping.

We split up 9 years ago, and I would say to anyone, do not split up until the kids are old enough to live their own lives or have already moved out. The pain is just to much, for both the adults and the children.

I tried to be friends, but it is much easier to argue when you are not living together, much easier. And you will argue about little things. And when you both start with new partners, all hell will start. You will be OK in some ways because you have the children, but your partner wont and this will hurt the children.

If you have to end it, then end it, but expect pain a plenty for everyone. If I could turn the clocks back I would never have split from my ex because of the children only. What's a few more years, hang in there.
 

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@Spiderman: Hey thanks for checking in. I haven't been back here. Just going through the motions really. We've spoken about how to move forward and he's looking for a place nearby. It's been a bit up and down emotionally and I'm finding it hard to look after myself. Day to day we're doing small talk - if that. He doesn't work and I work from home.

I know I need to keep my spirits up but it's not so easy, especially because he's said that we had our time of being in a relationship before the children were born. Now it's time to be parents. Had I known that having children would have ended our relationship I may not have had them. Can't change that now.

Sorry to hear about your new marriage. Sounds like your husband is emotionally unavailable like mine. I can only suggest that you look out for yourself and try to understand more about YOU, especially if you don't feel like you have the energy. Moving houses is a big strain in itself.

He sounds a bit better than your first husband but something tells me you are worth more than what you are getting. The only way that can happen is if you FEEL like you are worth more. I am having to learn that too right now. If it helps by all means keep posting here if you need to talk more x .


I too have had been with a partner for 20 years. I have two children. I played computer games. I also had my own business and worked very hard. I used to cook for my children and pick them up and take them to school, and it was me alone that took them out for days and camping.

We split up 9 years ago, and I would say to anyone, do not split up until the kids are old enough to live their own lives or have already moved out. The pain is just to much, for both the adults and the children.

I tried to be friends, but it is much easier to argue when you are not living together, much easier. And you will argue about little things. And when you both start with new partners, all hell will start. You will be OK in some ways because you have the children, but your partner wont and this will hurt the children.

If you have to end it, then end it, but expect pain a plenty for everyone. If I could turn the clocks back I would never have split from my ex because of the children only. What's a few more years, hang in there.
Thanks for replying John,

We've agreed to share childcare when he has his own place. We've split twice now and each time I had the children and THAT was very stressful. Made me realize that being a single parent isn't fair at all. I'm not sure if we will argue more.

In fact I think we'll argue more if we stay under the same roof for very long. As I was saying to Spiderman, he only wants to parent so he says and so he has what he wants right now. Ironically, he clearly is not happy about just doing that!! I just wish I had paid attention to him saying we had our time a lot sooner. Cop out? I dunno. Wouldn't have kept telling myself I could make the relationship work on my own. I'm feeling really naive for that at the moment.

What made you and your ex split if you don't mind saying?

Also are you suggesting that I hang around being single for the next 10 or so years before I get to be happy and loved by someone else?

It is possible to co-parent amicably w/o being friends....just food for thought.
I doubt it ranaz which is why I'm thinking to deal with the tough part now before it gets intolerable.

Do you expect you won't be friends?

How can you make that choice now?
staystrong, I have no idea how we will feel although can see us being great friends. We've always been close perhaps more like brother and sister in many ways. Ideally I would like to be friends and maybe only time will determine whether that's possible.
 

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So far since seperation my wife and I have stopped our whirlpool from sinking everything we have - so we still have our friendship, though it's still more than that for her. When we both realised what our daughter was going through it was enough motivation it seems to keep the peace, it was difficult at first due to the raw emotion. However, we agreed really early on our seperation that our daughter is to be our priority, anything else has to go around it.

It was becoming apparent that this was very difficult for her so I took the lead, and eventually we both settled into a new routine and all 3 of us are better off than if we had cut ties and not spoken to each other. I found things of note however, having more public meetups (not home meetups - disasters waiting to happen I tell ya) and less phone discussions seems to smoothen the exchange of dialogue. It's still going to take a while to get cool again with each other but that's life.

Despite the exchanges between my wife and I so far, we still have a long way yet, before we can chill and have fun with each other even as friends.
 

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We are looking at co-parenting in our split though it's early days - I don't move out till Jan. We have always been great friends. I do not want to settle for that but I am slowly accepting that I have to for the kids and my self as a Dad.

Plan atm is kids stay with her in the current house and I get somewhere really close so I can be here and see them everyday still. Our situation for the next 12-18 months has complications but basically entails keeping things as settled for the kids as possible.

She is perfectly happy to co-parent as friends in this way and in theory it should be great.. my only concern is can I actually do it while wanting so much more than friendship.

If he has been as checked out as you now are (kinda sounds that way) then just friends could work pretty well. Anger etc from cheating would cause problems and clinging to hope like I am may cause problems in my case but in a lot of ways it sounds like you are already more like friends than husband and wife?
 

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I believe it's a great possibility to be friends and stay friends....if that's the right word. Or...is friendly a better term?

I am still close to my childhood sweetheart, after a 25 year marriage. We never really fought and still don't. I would have stayed together until my last graduated but he didn't choose that course.

I guess that only way to stay friends is if you BOTH decide that is what you want!
 
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