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AIBU to think you can still stay together for the sake of the children and it work out

(273 Posts)
fluckered Tue 26-Feb-13 16:56:53

we cant seem to live together anymore. things out of our control his depression and my lack of tolerance to live with it anymore. we have one child. 80% of the time we are just living as lodgers no arguments. every once in a while it kicks off but we both shield our son (either in school or asleep). therefore i feel it will be worse on him if we seperate as we can actually live with eachother. no physical contact, very little emotion, just going through the motions. i feel deep down we still do love each other but i feel trapped and stuck but because i can just get on with it (other than it flaring up once in a while as i'm sure other couples do) think its better for ds. he is my focus, my world, my reason for living. so aibu to think this arrangement is less damaging for him? he is 5 btw

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 26-Feb-13 19:01:21

Oh and once my DM raised it with my GM and GM was astonished she has realised anything. Kids are acutely sensitive... Just to state the obvious.

Though I will add that DM was the oldest of 5 - 2 are married happily (DM being one of them), one is very unhappy, one is divorced, and one was happily married until her DH developed a debilitating condition and now feels very, very trapped. She won't ever leave either.

BarbarianMum Tue 26-Feb-13 19:03:23

Please don't. Even if you don't argue it can be heartbreaking for a child to see 2 people they love so cold and unemotional with each other.

My parents stayed together for us (me and brother). It was hell. The worst bits were not the arguments but the coldness and simmering resentment.

Also, the reality is probably that you won't manage another 13 years like this but that one of you will meet someone else. Better to end it before it gets to lies and cheating.

cory Tue 26-Feb-13 19:04:14

ChangeNamer101 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:42:46

"Once again, the girls have NEVER seen any violence. Neither of them think that anything is wrong, so they won't necessarily make the choices I have made. Honestly, they believe ours is a good relationship."

Isn't that precisely the problem: they see something that is not love and are told that this is what love looks like. It's as if you were eating cardboard or some other non-food stuff and pretending this is what good food looks like.

can't be long now, but situation is very close to mine, which i considered starting a thread about, but was too worried what you would all say. hopefully will be back later after toddler bedtime.

ChangeNamer101 Tue 26-Feb-13 19:10:53

Amber, DD was 3 and all she remembers is "That time I had to stop two grown ups shouting at each other mum" she says that with a grin. She has seen friends parents split and says she is glad we aren't like that. She tells her friends that "mum and dad never argue"

I remember the nightmares and the clinginess, but she doesn't. I know it was affecting her back then, so i made the decision for it to stop. She didn't understand a lot of the things she heard, if it happened now she would - so it doesn't happen now. DH and I never even have cross words now, I let things go, I don't care what he does, I ignore a lot.

She sees nothing but the good from me. It's hard to explain, but we are a very good team me and her. It's us against the world smile

I don't need to be happy. DD and DSD are what is important. As long as they are happy then I am. I don't need DH, don't rely on him and therefore I'm not let down by him. I live for DD - she makes me happy and that is all I need.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 26-Feb-13 19:15:39

I get what you're saying changenamer and i can see that it's not like he's throwing you down the stairs every night, but that's a lot of pressure for a little girl - to be the one who makes you happy when DH doesn't.

amillionyears Tue 26-Feb-13 19:17:07

fluckered. Your DHs depression seems to be at the heart of things.
I assume he has been to the GP about it? Have you or him any idea why he might have it?

ChangeNamer101. Can I gently ask if you have depression? Dont answer if you dont want to. I was just thinking that I would have thought that all the emotional suppression might have some reprecussions in some way or other.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 26-Feb-13 19:17:20

...Then again as my PP proves, an unhappy marriage doesn't neccessarily mean that the children of the marriage will be unhappy. Oh, what do I know? other than your post worries me for some reason

flippinada Tue 26-Feb-13 19:17:52

Anyone who thinks this is just plain wrong.

How desperately , heartbreakingly sad. How can someone think so little of themselves?

What happens when the children leave home and there's just the two of you?

Someone upthread said you only get one life. So very true.

trubbanot Tue 26-Feb-13 19:19:45

It pains me to say this, but I have never forgiven my mother for doing this (staying together with my father). She always says I was protected, I didn't know what was going on. But eventually they did split up, and when I found out the truth, it made a lie of my childhood. I can barely remember most of my childhood, but I remember the agony of finding out my parents weren't who I thought they were. Even now I have a forced relationship with my mother, we play the exact same game that she played with my father, pretending that everything is ok, when in fact I can't stand her to hug me. I hate that she made me her ally rather than be my mother, and do what would have been best for all of us, she congratulates herself for her sacrifice, but it seems utterly selfish to me.

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 19:21:03

I get what you are saying changenamer, but don't underestimate how it will shape your DDs view of relationships.

Isn't that precisely the problem: they see something that is not love and are told that this is what love looks like

The above by cory is spot on.

chocolateorangeyum Tue 26-Feb-13 19:21:55

This situation is happening to a family member of mine. They won't split mainly because her parents believe in staying together at all costs. The whole family are miserable, the children are definitely affected. It is heartbreaking to watch.

flippinada Tue 26-Feb-13 19:26:10

What everyone else has said but really.have you thought about what will happen when your children leave home and there you are, alone with someone you can't bear - has this honestly not occurred to you?

60sname Tue 26-Feb-13 19:27:38

Even if your children don't realise now, they will. It dawned on me at 11. My parents are still married, 20 years on. I am still resentful I had to watch that growing up, though I am thankful that, after a few false starts in relationships when I believed it was normal to argue constantly/have nothing in common, I am now in a healthy relationship

Tee2072 Tue 26-Feb-13 19:27:56

What wasted lives. I feel sorry for anyone doing this to themselves.

This isn't how a relationship is suppose to be. What are you teaching your children? That it's better to be in a relationship and unhappy than be out of it and be happy?

That really makes me sick. I can't read this any more.

I hope both the OP and ChangeNamer or what her name is get some help. You both sorely need it.

ChangeNamer101 Tue 26-Feb-13 19:29:15

Amillionyears, no I've never had depression. I'm generally quite an upbeat person. I think I was probably heading into it when DH and I initially had our problems but stepping back and letting go helped. If I don't care what he does I don't need to be unhappy. Thank you for asking though.

Don't worry about me or DD panpiper, thank you but really don't smile

Ada, When DD is gone DH will be happy in his bottle, I'll have other interests (I do now) and I won't actually have to spend much time with him.

LittleEdie Tue 26-Feb-13 19:30:32

Your post makes it sound like you take pride in martyring yourself for your child.

I am baffled as to what awful awful thing will happen to their children if split up. Life will go on, they will still have two loving parents. Why on earth would anyone sacrifice their own happiness in this one short life we have, just to protect their children from something that really isn't a big deal?

My parents divorced when I was 15,not pleasantly and out of the blue. But it wasn't the actual split that was awful, it was my dad's behaviour afterwards. In splits where both parent behave sensibly and with their children's best interests at heart, the children generally report it wasn't a problem for them.

I consider my and DH's happiness to be just as important as my DDs'. In A family, everyone has to compromise on something so everyone gets the best out of life. That is only right and healthy.

flippinada Tue 26-Feb-13 19:32:01

Sorry to be blunt but I find that almost unbearably grim, quite horrific in fact. I think I'll follow Tee's lead.

I'm a child of two divorces - 4 when my biological parents parted; 21 when my stepfather left my mum for another woman.

Please believe me: it is a) easier on the kids the earlier in life you do it and b) life is much nicer with two happy parents who happen to be divorced than two utterly miserable parents who are staying together for your "sake". At that point you are as good as placing responsibility for your own happiness on your children and it is so frigging unfair.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Tue 26-Feb-13 19:32:23

Changenamer I think trubbanot could be your dd 20 years from now.
You'll either waste your life away being very miserable or eventually decide to break free and your dd will find out her childhood was a lie. Look at the amount of people on this thread who have lived it, how can you say it's for the best?
Just because you don't show upset doesn't mean your relationship is good for them. You say you just ignore what he does now, so they still see a father who does what he likes while mummy just takes it. Still not a good example on how to be a strong independent woman whichever way you look at it.

ChangeNamer101 Tue 26-Feb-13 19:32:53

Amber, Tee and others worrying about my DD, I refer to my first post:

I smile, I play, I say I Love you, I have sex (and pretend to enjoy it). I ensure that DD sees me cuddle her father at least once a week. I say things like "you should ask dad about that, he's really good at that sort of thing" to DSD, even though I dont believe what I am saying. Those girls have no reason to believe that I am not totally and happily in love with their father

I'm a good actress. They see love. I wouldn't want my life for my kids and I won't let it happen.

cory Tue 26-Feb-13 19:33:09

I would worry more about the day when the children found out that you have told them a lie. I have seen the fall-out of this and it has left incredibly unhappy and angry children. Where is the point of making your dd happy now if it is going to make her doubly unhappy later in life? Do you think you will care less about her when she is older? Or that her capacity for suffering will be any less?

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 19:33:40

Changenamer, why not get a divorce though?

What is soo awful about a divorce that makes it so much worse than your current existence?

Sorry, missed a few words in my first sentence.

I am baffled as to what awful awful thing people think will happen to their children if they split up.

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