Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How do you know for sure that you should leave?

(431 Posts)
Apty Sat 01-Sep-12 21:59:21

Relationships are full of good and bad. What do you do when you are confused about the balance and how bad it really is?

My instincts tell me to leave sometimes, and then at other times that seems like the worst thing to do.

Do you reach a point when you know?

Middy86 Fri 01-Feb-13 23:32:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 31-Jan-13 09:29:05

Oh and I did 2 years of A levels before too. You are nearly there, time will fly by.

Oh and if your dp thinks he's a loser why does he think YOU deserve that?

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Thu 31-Jan-13 09:24:01

Middy your post is heart-rending reading. Yes you are far too young to feel like this. I'm glad you are not married to this man.

I posted a lot on this thread a while back. Finally left dh in October after years of misery and agonising and guilt. He is fourteen years older. Don't fritter your life and youth away on an older man you don't even have a good relationship with.

Of course you feel like a one woman show because it's actually much lonelier being in an unhappy relationship than being alone.
Separating and being a single mum is not easy. But from a purely personal point of view I can tell you it is happier than being in a relationship that no longer works and suffering the agonies of should I stay or should I go, all the time.

Your Dp is not old at 40. He's actually in his prime and only negativity or guilt tripping you is making him say that. If he is, I'm even more over the hill aa 42yo woman!

Yes your course will make demands on you but you will cope. Fwiw I am a f/t student with dd aged 10 &12. I'm doing medicine at a London medical school and it's hideous at times and knackering all the time (commuter as well). But here I am, due to qualify as a doctor in 2014!

You sound very lonely and your course will give you focus, self esteem and friends. Don't give up.

All the best x

Middy86 Thu 31-Jan-13 01:49:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hi all

Good to hear updates from people. Well, exp and I are still living in the same house, but he gets the keys to a new rental property on 10th December and is hoping to be settled in there by Christmas. I am planning on staying on in our current house (rented as well) for a few more months so the dc don't experience too much upheaval at once. We haven't had the big chat with dc1 (dc2 is too young to know what is going on really), but we are going to wait until exp has keys to his new house so we can go around and show him the new house and try and make it an adventure. We hope to spend Christmas together the four of us.

That is all the straightforward stuff, but to be truthful it has been a really hard month. I don't know how people keep on co-habiting for years after splitting, my nerves are in tatters and I am just navigating through each day as it comes. I know it is very tough for DP as well. He still doesn't think I have given things enough of a try, and we still have circular rows. I am hoping we can both move on easier once we aren't under the same roof.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Tue 27-Nov-12 21:43:10

Hang in there Tired. To thine own self be true.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 27-Nov-12 00:56:50

Hi all

Haven't been on here for a while - had too much to do. I will make this fairly quick as I've promised myself I'll go to bed before 1.

I've been in the new house now, for, I think, about six weeks. It's been hard to adjust - mostly because I really feel for the kids shuttling this way and that. They seem to be coping very well now though and I'm much less worried about them than I was.

I've carried on sorting out the house. It takes up so much of my time. I decorated the kitchen, I'd already done the girls' rooms, the sitting room and the au pair's room. Now I've done my office. This was important because I need a space to work and I'm one of those people who can't concentrate when their surroundings are a mess. Everything has to be orderly and look nice. I am going to attack my bedroom next and then the bathrooms. That will leave only the hall stairs and landings, but with four floors it's a massive job.

I'm still neglecting my studies but want to focus and catch up and feel ready to now I have a space of my own.

I have a new au pair coming on Wednesday and I can't wait. We have Skyped her and she seems great - Australian. It will make a huge difference. I've been juggling childcare in all sorts of ways - getting people to take them after school etc and it's been a nightmare.

We finally exchanged contracts on the fh a couple of weeks ago and have been engaged in the monster task of clearing it. We complete on Friday and there is still loads of stuff over there. I have been trying to do as much as I can but I can hardly bear going there. Partly because of the memories but partly because it just doesn't feel like home any more, it's an alien place now.

Sorting out the house here is ongoing as every day there are more boxes of stuff arriving that need to be put away. My basement is full of stuff that has nowhere to go and I will be storing some stuff for dh as well.

He is my main worry. He's not in a good place at all. I'm sure he is depressed and needs some help to get through all this. But he won't be persuaded to go to the GP. His family is everything to him and to top it all he has terrible, terrible work problems. He may soon be out of a job as the company he mostly owns is falling apart. There were 13 people working there three years ago and now there are four. The company is in debt and one of his two partners announced last week that he was leaving to another job. I really feel for him and wish I could throw him a lifeline. It would be so good in so many ways - keep the family together, have a new start. My house is lovely and big but it was much less than we got for family home we would have lots of spare cash as there was loads of equity in the fh. It would totally take the pressure off him re work and could be a new start. This money will be eaten up buying a house for him (we live in an expensive town, commuterville) and we will both struggle financially. But I have put my heart and soul into my house, spent three months making it functional and beautiful and I have to admit I am enjoying my own space. I miss the kids when they are not here and I have been lonely but when the new au pair arrives I won't be. I just hope she will be nice. I would feel like he was invading and I think I would resent it.

Dh is buying a house he doesn't like (ugly little 1970s box and he likes old houses). I begged him to find somewhere he liked - he could get a little Victorian terrace) but he has doggedly gone ahead and though he's seen other places he prefers since he made the offer he doesn't want to let down the sellers. I think this is very admirable but he's shafting himself. It's as if he doesn't care any more, or doesn't want the best for himself. I'm absolutely racked with guilt at leaving him at the worst time in his life and hugely conscious of how much all his friends/family must hate me.

I would find all this so much easier if he would accept it and I thought he'd be OK and prepared to move on. I'm really worried about him, he seems to be finding it much harder than the children are. If I thought he still loved me it would be different, but he is so angry still. Someone upthread cut and pasted that comment about men not changing and their partners seething with resentment by the time they did and that was us. I begged him to change and he did try but it was too late. I no longer wanted to make it work. He also emotionally blackmailed me into staying when I wanted to go, but it was so obvious he didn't feel positively about me at all. It was crap for my self esteem, I felt suicidal at times. It has been so hard to leave.

I don't know how things will pan out in the longer term. I have tried to reach out to him a few times but we end up having the same argument - me trying to make him see how much he hurt me, and that this was the root of our difficulties and him blaming me for not being nice to him - the reason I wasn't was because he had almost destroyed me with his EA for years.

I wonder if time apart will help him to reflect on things and maybe we will get back together one day. I'm not interested in finding anyone else at all, I just want to focus on my studies and be a good mum.

Right, I've got to go as I'll miss my curfew. I will stay looking on here though and wish everyone well.

kaybristol Mon 26-Nov-12 22:46:46

If you can look in the mirror and honestly say I love my husband and he loves me.My children are safe and myself esteem is intact then you stay. If you can advise you own daughter to stay in a relationship like yours you stay, if not you live.and yes you know when you should leave, its the guts most people lack...
If its a good relationship work at it

SmallSherryforMedicinal Mon 26-Nov-12 22:41:40

Hi all

Thistle thanks a mill. It's amazing to think of the concern we have for each other all slogging along on this road.
I did meet my ex. It was wonderful. There's hardly been a day over the past 7 years I haven't thought of him.
When I got back, H informed me that he's moving abroad for work for 5 months next year. This is just fantastic news.
My daughter and I are getting on much better as the bit of time and space possibly helped her to see - at least temporarily - that her mum is not the worst in the world. Spontaneous hugs from her!!
Work is frantic, but it will be ok ultimately I hope.
Feeling a lot better. More positive, not so bloody hopeless and ground down. Feel a lot calmer....

ThistlePetal Mon 26-Nov-12 15:47:15

How are we all doing? Sherry are you ok?

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 07:47:36

Sherry - don't do this. Two wrongs do not make a right. Do not add your own destructive behaviour into the mix.

Keep on working on those issues, don't knock AA till you have tried it.

Please don't meet up with the old flame - you WILL get aroused drink wise, you will do things you regret.

If you sink to his level, there are TWO lots of anger and resentment, and how can you point fingers then?

There are better ways of getting self-esteem.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Sun 18-Nov-12 19:55:54

Hi everyone
Just checking in to catch up. Things here ok ish
H sent me an email the other day telling me he wasn't going anywhere. That we couldn't afford for us to separate and that the children are thriving and need us both here.
I haven't the mental energy to argue the case right now with him. He slept with someone recently - Im sure of it - but says talk of adultery is out the window since we haven't shared a room in 6 mos. After a sober week, I'm not sure how bothered I am about him sleeping with someone. Sobriety is hard but it's definitely working for me.
Next week I'm going to spend some R&R time with a very hot old flame. I need some me time, and I really need sex, and with a known quantity, not a stranger
After Xmas h & I are going into counselling - if only to figure how to separate graciously. We still have some feeling for each other after 15 years - but not enough, I suspect.
Hope eveyone is ok - I'm reading all your posts.

Abitwobblynow Sat 17-Nov-12 18:15:54

To all who are furious that their H's only decided to change after they had made the decision to leave:

Lundy Bancroft talks about it a lot. That often it only takes the very real possibility of losing their family that will jolt a lazy destructive man out of his rut and do the real work of changing.

He says: NOT to forgive them, but to stay away for 2-3 months and watch if they really are finally facing themselves and taking responsibility.

He reminds us of the old law: change happens ONLY when the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain of changing. And men cling to their old habits for grim death and it takes you leaving and meaning it for them (some of them) to take you seriously.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 09:02:33

Thank you Feckbox but I feel the conversation is more empathetic and serious than I can offer and my comment was rather judgemental when people are obviously quite agonised. It must be very hard and I hope people manage to find paths through the difficulties.

tennesseyhennessey Sat 17-Nov-12 07:01:09

Thank you for your replies. thistle i think i panic because in the past (ie, up until august) he used to mainly ring to moan at me for something. As someone said above, it was only when i left in august his attitude changed and he was alit better. He'd previously spend most his time huffing and puffing at me and the kids. I spent my time terrified of what mood he might be in. Hes never physically abusive.

Another thing that bothers me is that i have to rely heavily on my family for help getting kids from A-B. For example dd has dancing at 4 on a friday, H could easily pick her up from school and bring her to me at work (self employed), and be back at home by 4 to get ready to leave at 5. In stead i have to get my retired dad to do it because 'i need time to get ready for work' or 'i dont like driving when i have to go to work.'

Im supposed to be seeing a friend tonight and staying at hers whilst he has the kids. He'll pick me up tomorrow and i already know there is a 95% chance he will be in a foul mood when he collects me. Part of me ishoping he will be as i think it may be the tipping point giving me the confidence to leave.

Feckbox Sat 17-Nov-12 06:21:27

Brycie, of course you can join the discussion.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 06:04:05

I've interjected into some very serious conversations. Wishing you all well.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 06:01:54

There seems little point in joining this thread now but

"My friend C said that she knew it was time to leave her first husband when she realised she was fancying other men."

seems a bit of a joke. Do people really break up a family for such a shallow reason?

I think the general etiquette is that you can talk about OTBT but not link to it, from what I have gathered from other threads.

Anyway, sorry for this thread going a bit off subject, hope everyone is well this weekend. I have had a shocking night's sleep due to neighbours having a party, and of course to top it off dd woke at 5am!

Tired how are things going in your new place?

Proportions Fri 16-Nov-12 17:03:49

Not so 'off the beaten track' now, oops

Hi Proportions I am glad things worked out for you and your DP.

My xp originally read this thread and we talked about what I had written, and since then I did not write anything on this thread that I hadn't already addressed, or was not out in the open between us at home, and he also told me he would not read any more, as he felt it was a bit like reading my diary and felt very guilty. I also have given support to other posters here since he first told me he had been reading this thread, nothing manipulative about giving other people support or commenting on their individual situations IMO.

I was still trying to work out what to do, and not really able to talk to anyone in RL, so I then started a thread on Off the Beaten Track, which is not Googlable and you have to be a member to view that section. I really did not think that xp would find that thread, but he joined Mumsnet and went looking, and then cut and pasted the thread and emailed it to me. I was gutted. He knows this.

I do feel bad and guilty that he read all of my private thoughts, as some of them must have been difficult to read for him, but I have not posted anything on this thread since becoming aware that he may read what I have written that he does not already know. I have really needed the support at times, and have not posted anything inflammatory just in case he does read the thread again, and nothing I have posted is a secret from him. I am not leaving him "messages" on here or writing anything to manipulate him.

I do not feel like he "deserves" anything bad from me, but I do feel that I have a right to keep on posting here where I have had such amazing support.

Proportions Fri 16-Nov-12 13:12:25

Hi all, have been following this thread for a long time now as much of it resonates with a situation I found myself in a few years back. I Incidently did leave but then realised after only a few weeks that I was being unrealistic and blowing everything out of all proportion due to low self-esteem, post natal depression and because of external indluences. I am so glad I changed my mind with a more open, respectful and honest relationship we are now very happy and love has blossomed.

8rubber/cannot I am amazed you are still writing on here, you have mentioned him reading your threads a few times and so it seems like you are writing knowing he will read it, is that not in a funny way a bit manipulative and even disrespectful to someone you may feel deserves it but . . . Having read lots of this thread, and lots of others as well as my own experiences, he sounds ok for a man.

I hope you can all find happiness this weekend - my Dp is whisking me away for a romantic weekend. Can't wait.

Thistle good luck this weekend, I hope you enjoy the space, try not to miss DCs too much and do some fun things!

I have lots of support in RL, I am very lucky, and have been having some good chats with friends now. I just want to stay focused on the DC at the moment and being the best Mum I can. I don't really feel I can post here for support as xdp read every thread I have posted on or started, and carried on reading them, and searched for me on OTBT, so I don't see why he would stop now. It is a shame, as the support I have had here has been amazing.

tennessey please don't feel you sound pathetic, you really don't. It is not nice feeling like you are being pawed; it is your body, your boundaries should be respected if you don't want sexual contact when your kids are in the room. I would also be really resentful if I was the only one doing the early morning shifts, I was always lucky in that respect, xdp and I would always take turns.

Abouttoselfdestruct sorry you are feeling so confused, it is a very confusing time. If you really feel there is no future then stick to your guns. If you really have any major doubts then maybe bring them up in counselling to work through whether they are the basis of you having a chance to work things out. I think it is natural to have doubts though, even if you know deep down you are doing the right thing. Keep going Apty, it really does sound to me from your posts that you have done the right thing.

Smallsherry hope you are feeling better than the other day.

ThistlePetal Thu 15-Nov-12 18:25:40

SelfDestruct, I'm glad you found the thread, it has been such a useful space for me to share my feeling and hear how other people have dealt with the same thing. It's a horrible place to be in, but like you say, not at all uncommon sad.

I'm not clear from your post whether your big talk with your DH resulted in you leaving, at agreeing to stay? Either way, I wish you lots of luck in finding the right way forward for you. You say that your DH has been absent for 5 years, then you go on to question how you can do this to your family: it seems to me that you are simply reacting to the situation you find yourself in, and the fact that you are taking action to make it better is only going to help your family, no matter what the outcome.

Tennessey I'm glad you're here too, I think all of us recognise the feeling of limbo you describe. You don't sound pathetic, you sound really sad. You've mentioned a couple of fairly big things which make you feel less than valued, and that would be reason enough to make you question your desire to stay..... But you also mention feeling panicky when he calls you - whatever is making you feel like that (I don't mean to pry, just reflecting this back to you) can't be good.

Does he know how strongly you feel about these things? Is he open to discussing the issues and trying to sort them out in partnership with you? Or do you feel that you've gone past that point?

tennesseyhennessey Thu 15-Nov-12 11:57:57

Im glad ive stumbled across this. I feel like others, a bit like im in limbo. The thought of leaving makes me feel sick, and i wish i could wave a wand to get it all done and over with.

There are times, like recently, where h can be wonderful, my main gripe and it seems pathetic thati would consider leaving over this, but he never gets up to help with the kids. He usually works late shifts so doesnt get to bed til 2-3 in the morning. But even on his second day off he'll just lay in bed. He's going back to work tonight after 3 weeks off, in that time he has only got up once so i could have a lie in and thats only because i lost it and shouted at him from tiredness. Even then he made a fuss, and ended up snoozing all day because 'he was shattered'. I do it every bloody day AND work full time.

I also cant stand him touching me, he paws me and tries it on when the kids are in the room. We cant just have a cuddle it has to be a grope too. I also realised i panic when my phone rings and its him. I instantly worry ive done something to piss him off.

I sound pathetic sad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now