Advice appreciated, long term relationship ending.

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    It sounds like you two need some space to work on your issues and then work on your relationship. Separating does not mean forever nor divorce.

    His issues stem from his childhood as he was raised by an alcoholic family and are being medicated with alcohol. The alcohol needs to stop first thing. Only with a sober mind can he begin to address his core issues. I suggest AA which is free and available worldwide.

    I suggest AA but I’m not saying its the only solution, there are other group therapies that are also free and of a different flavor than AA. Some people are very anti-AA because the message is sometimes lost in its delivery.

    While you can suggest this to him, he’s going to have to make the decision himself. You however should likely separate for a while to get some space and recoup. Separating also puts the onus on him to make a move. It hopefully will be the bottom he needs to see that things need to change.

    While you’re very strong for having to go through all of this, I’m sure you could use some support because you need not go through this alone. There are groups and therapies for that as well.

    I wish you two the best.


    Thanks again for the replies. We had a quite peaceful weekend where we managed to talk a little bit and be calm around the kids.Regarding the questions you asked I have answered them below.

    Why do you think he was unhappy with his job and life? He left University with a degree in Marketing and ended up working with his Father in a family business. He has never had a huge drive in a career and he admits it was the easy option. His father was in and out of his alcoholism at the time, so of course it was difficult for him.
    Why did you leave the country? Why did you decide to start a business together? We left the country because he wanted a change and we felt the change would be good for the family (outdoor life, different cultures) and both of us were having to work full time and we were expecting a new baby and felt it would be the best idea for the family. I agreed because I thought it would help him and thought the family would benefit. We holidayed in the region many times, and my parents have a house here where they spend their holidays. In terms of our quality of life and that of the kids too, I feel its improved. We decided to start a business together because it was an idea for how we could make a living, and it was a good idea. Why did that business fail? It failed because despite doing a lot of ground work and research in the end when we submitted out plans to the council, they didn’t allow us to do what we wanted. In the meantime, I started working as a private nurse here and we started to get an income, so we didn’t persue it further.
    Why did he fall into the role he is now playing? He fell into this role because I knew I could not sit back and not earn any money, as I have a career (a nurse) that is transferable I set about doing what I had to do so I could practice here. It made sense that he care for the kids while I was absent, and in all honesty he didn’t really try at all to find work. I found quite a few options- medical writing online, transcribing, cleaning, private nurse, baby sitting and now nurse recruitment. i was very lucky to find my current job, which as I said before I can work form home but does involve some travel.
    Why was he so miserable in this role? I have asked this so many times, but he cannot really answer me. I feel it is because he feels devalued and he is not stimulated as much as he could be. But that is not because i stiffle him, or chain him to the sink. The kids are at school, he has a lot of free time he could spend doing whatever he wanted. Honestly, so long as the kids are cared for (they have food to eat and clothes to wear and are loved) he can spend that time doing whatever he likes. But he feels guilty about doing that, but that is his own perception, not form me. I honestly never nag or whine at him.
    What role does he want to play in the relationship? I don’t know, I don’t think he knows, he shows no desire to be the breadwinner but doesn’t seem happy in the role he is doing now.
    Do you appreciate the role he has taken on in the relationship? Absolutely, as I know i couldn’t fulfil my role at work if he wasn’t. i also couldn’t travel. My salary is enough for him not to work. I think he feels it when we are talking to people, and they ask him what he does. I say to him no-one would ask a stay at home mum the same, so why would they think the same of you? But it doesn’t change his mindset at all. Like I said before I would feel much happier if he felt content in his role. If he isn’t then we need to decide what we do.
    Are you supportive in the role he has taken on in the relationship? Yes, I feel I support him well. I still cook, clean, sort the kids out, go food shopping, allow him free time at the weekends etc. He enjoys cycling and djing so in the last year I bought him a bike, and some dj decks and I take him to bike races sometimes. I would literally do anything for him that makes him happy, which is why it upsets me so much that he can treat me with so much hatred and resentment.
    Do you criticize him in the role he has taken on in the relationship? No, never. The only thing I try and discuss is for him to have more patience with the boys. He is quick to anger, and his patience is very short.
    Why won’t he take time for himself? He does, but he could do more for himself. I don;t know why he doesn’t, a perceived sense of guilt?
    Why is he becoming more controlling, more jealous, more fearful? I don’t really know. He said to me once his worse fear is I think or feel “I deserve better”. Ironically, its only because of his moods and the way he talks and treats me that would ever say this. He isn;t very confident anymore, he used to be. he had a swagger, but now i think he feels inferior, but I don;t know why he would. Is it the male psych to feel he has to be the hunter gatherer, even if he hasn’t wanted to take that role on?
    Why do you feel so tired and drained in a relationship that is supposed to be the opposite? Because he constantly critizes me, snaps easily, keep demanding more and more form me. I feel like I cannot do anything without him picking up on it. I think he has OCD, which makes life difficult for me. He will comment for example if the dishwasher isn’t loaded to his specification.; often it is done in a jokey way, but I feel often I have no autonomy. He will comment if I spend money, again often in a jokey way, but it still makes an impact on how I feel about it.
    Why does he also feel tired, miserable and drained in this relationship? I don’t know, but he is a very negative person, in all works of life. But this has got a lot worse in the last few years,
    Why don’t you both communicate what you are both feeling, thinking and desiring to one another? I try. But my feelings are often dismissed as being silly or too emotional. He said to me recently “why do you put so much emphasis on words?” and “You get emotional, don’t you, I think its a sign of weakenss”- I actually think I am strong, I get emotional (not so much with us anymore) but if a film is sad, if I miss someone etc.
    What is causing this separation? His behaviour, and I have pulled away as a way of protecting myself I think.
    Why is he lacking motivation? I thought he was depressed, he has been on medication for a while, it hasn’t helped that much. That said he never sits and does nothing, he doesn’t sit all day in front of the TV. right now he is in the garden tidying it up. He did the housework this morning etc. I appreciate everything he does. But he doesn’t do anything with any aspect of joy, its always with a moan.
    Why is he so dependent upon you? He is financially and emotionally. He doesn’t have any friends he turns too and he has isolated himself from his family (I understand why).
    Why does he want to limit the contact his children have with their grandparents? Because he feels its imbalanced, and they spoil them. They spoil them with love and affection. I think he feel less important when they are around.

    He isn’t always like this, but it doesn’t come easy to him to be light and not take things seriously. I do enjoy his company when he isn’t in a dark mood, we laugh together. The kids have fun with him, we have fun as a family. But when we have a nice day, sometimes he can say one horrible thing to me or be on at me, and it just spoils it. I don’t understand why he doe it.


    What’s his plan for fixing all this? Does he recognise his temper and moodiness is driving you away, and that it’s on him to do something about it?

    It sounds like he’s got a number of problems, deep-running problems that need more than just a course of anti-depressants. What if you sat him down and said: “This can’t go on. We can’t live like this. I need to you be even-tempered and to stop criticising me. What do you propose to achieve this?”

    I was the (female) breadwinner for a long time in my previous relationship (we didn’t have kids). It didn’t work out. Like you, I still ended up doing a lot of the household work, and he slowly sank deeper into depression. I don’t think this is about the male psyche specifically. I think it’s just the imbalance in the relationship slowly ruined it. I came to realise he needed me, but I didn’t get much from being with him. When I met someone new, that was the end of that.

    I’d say it would do him good to find work, but I’m not sure it would. It might. It might do him good to get some therapy. It might do him good to learn a little about emotions and how to handle them. (He accuses you of being too emotional, but he’s constantly thrown out of wack by his own anger? Why, hello there, Mr Kettle! And he criticises you for how you spend your own money? I would give him a piece of my mind!) These things might do him good, but they might not. It sounds like deep, life-long patterns he’s got and he doesn’t seem super-willing to work on them.

    Are you sure you’re willing to continue putting up with this?


    Hi Monklet- 2 weeks ago I told him it was over, I was very determined, however (another story) he has a driving ban for 4 months which ends in October, so he asked if he could stay in the house and help out until his driving ban was over as he would be a bit stuck (terrible public transport etc). So I agreed. Anyway over the last few days we have been getting on ok , and I think he thinks its back to normal again. I suppose in my own head, i know he is here until october at the earliest so to create an enviroment that isn’t stressful for the kids, I have been nice also and seeing what happens. However I know, and I have told him exactly how he makes me feel, if that continues, i will just say ENOUGH. I don’t believe he can keep it up for very long, as i know he has to have an outlet for his anger. Therapy i am sure would help, but i don’t think he would agree to it.
    I agree a part time job would help him, but its persuading him that is the correct way to go.
    I know my heart isn’t in working this out, although I do care and love him dearly, I am afraid the damage has been done and I can’t get past that. What he sees as isolated incidents, I see as a cummulative impact. Its like he has chipped a little bit of love away each time. i think he knows this which makes him more insecure and trying (albleit in the wrong way) to try and keep me close, but what it has done is push me further away.
    So for now, I will try and keep the peace and see what happens, but the next explosion i think I will know in my head its done. I have laid everything on the line for him, he knows exactly how I feel, so if he continues it will just prove his lack of respect for me. Thanks for the replies again, it helps just to write things down 😉



    Its been nearly 2 weeks since I posted and we had a few days away holiday together. We laughed a bit, irritated each other a lot and argued a bit. I felt no metter what I do, its always wrong.

    Anyway a couple of things I want opinions on.

    On Friday I posted a picture that my 5 year old son had taken of me on Facebook. Its a nice photo, but believe me I am not the type of girl who posts photos of myself usually online. On Saturday morning, we had a cuddle in bed (my instigation) and then we got up (no sex). He was in a mood, so I asked him what was wrong, being aware that usually its me thats causes a problem in his eyes.

    Two things came out: 1. He was waiting for me to see if I would instigate sex. I didn’t because I was bleeding heavily. When I told him why, he said “why didn’t you tell me” and I replied ” i shouldn’t have to, if I don’t initiate sex, you should not read anything into it at all”. I do by the way initiate sex sometimes, but quite frankly when he isn’t being nice, I don’t always want to.
    2. Then he started saying about how me putting photos of myself (one photo), shows a disrespect for our relationship and shows that “likes” from other people are more important than our relationship. He also made a comment about one of my friends liking it (he is a male) and how I also liked his photos………facts are I haven’t seen or spoken to this guy since primary school. He now has a career in photography where he travels the world and takes beautiful photos. Nothing going on, purely innocent.

    So: my question is, is this irrational behaviour form him? I defended myself, but deep down I feel I shouldn’t have to on either thing.

    Thoughts please?


    Dear jlo5:

    Welcome back to your thread. My thoughts regarding your last post after re-reading some of your previous posts on this thread: you are understandably somewhat angry at him and feeling distant in the relationship with him. And his input regarding your online photo seems to me like an effort on his part to achieve two things:

    1. To distract from the real issues in the relationship by focus on something irrelevant to the real troubles in his mind and in the relationship. He is comfortable focusing on an irrelevant, emotionally light topic than on the real issues.

    2. To point the finger of blame at you: your fault, you did something wrong. And so he keeps safe from looking at his own behavior as a cause for the trouble (in his mind and in the relationship).



    Dear jlo5
    I have just registered on this site, specifically so I can write to you.
    I am screaming at the tablet screen as I read back all your posts, shaking my head agreeing now have tears in my eyes…. Believe me when I say…I get it. Unless you are in it, people don’t get it.
    And only when I am in a certain place like I am right now, am I able to write/ say out loud the things that you have said/are saying.
    I too am in a mentally abusive relationship and oh my god, things you have said, it’s like you have read my journal…it’s what I say….we have had a good few days…..taking the blame, being insecure, honestly I could scream…. Please please know that you are not alone. My god as crap as it is, it’s so good to know someone else gets it.
    ..’so I asked him what’s wrong, being as it’s usually me that’s caused the problem in his eyes’… My god, this is me too.

    You and I are in very different real life situations but so much is similar, all I want to do is tell you about me and hope that it may help you in some small way.
    My husband was diagnosed with Bipolar and OCD before I met him and he suffered two hospitalised episodes of extreme depression. When I met him he had been on medication and in therapy for many many years and when he told me this at the start of our relationship, he didn’t make it a big deal, Said it was controlled by medication and during those first few years I saw nothing different to him than say any other boyfriend, bit controlling maybe, bit black and white, bit blunt maybe but now 8 years later and he is a different person.
    He is so negative and judgemental, he has no friends, says he didn’t want or need them, everyone lets him down, no one ever gives the same as he does. He is so angry and resentful he has no social life and doesn’t want one and undermines me because I want to see people, hang out with friends, he says I am weak, insecure and pathetic for needing outsiders approval.
    There are many things that can happen to any person in their life and I could and have made allowances and excused his behaviour because he was mentally and physically abused as a child by his parents, he was forced to deal with his grieving mother after a miscarriage when he was 8, bullied to such an extent by his dad, he developed a stammer and ocd as his way of coping. He has been shat on by so many friends who have abused his genuinely sweet, kind, giving and generous nature, his family took thousands of pounds from him as he broke out of his poor upbringing and made something of himself, they constantly made him feel guilty of his achievements, he was always trying to win/ earn their approval.
    I can tell you all this and so so much more but should all this be the reason I say it’s ok that he calls me a c**t, a disgrace, vile lazy teenager (I’m 15 years his junior but I am still actually 34 so not a teenager) spit at me, say everything is my fault, throw things, belittle me and constantly tell me how flawed I am, how I have a screw loose. So much of what you say, actually practically everything, I have said or been through too and I have tried to walk away twice.
    I cannot tell you how amazing it is that you have said enough. You say you were very determined, that must have been so difficult and you go back and forth between thinking you are right and he is right… I know, he’s in your head, in your thoughts, he has slowly chip chip chipped away at your self belief, your gut instincts you question and my god you are so right, if it was a friend, we would have both packed her bags for her, took her home with us and poured her a large glass of wine!
    I get that there are things that cannot make it a clean ‘break away’, you have kids, he has a driving ban, you will have joint accounts and phone tariffs and god knows what else, it is never ever easy but it is not impossible and remember that amazing strength you gave inside. My therapist said to me something that I will say to you, she said I was the most resilient person she had ever met, now I don’t know you but I know enough to tell you you are resilient, and amazing and strong and a cherished mummy and the hero your kids need and deserve and you deserve to be you, not you constantly unsure if this will upset him, modifying your behaviour (I try and eat my meals with my hands now as I am too worried that I will scratch my fork on my plate and I knows he hates that and so I am just trying to minimalize the things that might set him off…
    I know, like you, deep down I know I think I am worth more than this and deserve more and don’t think it is all my fault, I hope I can get out of this marriage but like you, will always have to be tied to him because of children.
    Ultimatley, we only get one life and the clock is always ticking, try hard not to berate yourself for not doing it sooner or if you can’t go through with it at the end of October, don’t put yourself down and start down that road again, each day is important in the long run and just part of the process.
    I hope you have got something from my ramble but I just could not not write to you.
    You deserve so much more than you have been through, you deserve inner peace and unconditional love, I hope you demand them of yourself, I know I am trying to get there.

    The bestest of wishes from me to you.
    B x

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by Belle. Reason: Spelling

    @belle2016 Thanks so much for taking the time to log in and reply.

    Our situations seem somewhat similar and I read your reply with tears in my eyes. I know I am a very caring person, and I think he knows that and he feels he can behave however her wants with me. that said we do have times when we get on . i said to him if he was “even” all the time it would be ok. But its the moods, the critisism, the negativity, the blame, i cannot take anymore.

    We went for a few days away, and I thought being out of the enviroment might help, but he was still snappy and misreading everything. My five year old whispered to me one night “mummy, I hate daddy when he shouts at you”. So its not just me why I have to escape from this. He loves his kids, but he doesn’t understand what a bad example he is being to them. Its so sad.

    So, yesterday I had a friend look into some rental properties for me because I want him to stay in our house so he has something to focus on and I am happy to share the kids with him if he agrees. i haven’t told him yet I plan to leave, but in the next two weeks i want too. I also confided in two more friends, 0ne is very fond of him, so her reaction was quite important to me. The one thing I remember her saying is “I would have left him ages ago”. She also said, you are such a good person to be thinking about him, but its time to put yourself first.

    However, I know I need to get over the guilt about leaving him, stop worrying so much. he is an adult, I have done more than a normal person would, and I will still be there for him if he needs me.

    I hope you find some strength soon, keep replying!


    That is amazing that you are confiding in friends. Brenè Brown (you tube her she is awesome)she says be careful who you talk to, only because do they deserve to be confided in, can they cope with it, will they beable to take themselves and their personal feelings and judgements out of it and beable to empathise? It helps so much to write stuff down and talk it thru but I have confided in people then wished I hadn’t, I was in a very heightened emotional place and now on if I need to get it out, I write in my journal first and outpour because sometimes you don’t need the response just the validation to be heard and my journal always hears me. I too have looked into renting as i would not want to stay in my house, he like yours has jokingly and then many times when he is angry said I have brought nothing financial and he is right but I have contributed to the house and the family in every other way I could but when I do walk away from the relationship, I will not have any money which is why I have tried so hard to start this small business which in the back of my mind has been since the start my ‘get out of my marriage’ job. If I had the money I wud leave now, long story but slowly over the years he’s either put down my career choices, belittled my jobs as selfish and if no benefit to the family and that I’m getting obsessed by this ‘new thing’, binging is the hurtful thing that comes up time and time again, binging on new people, new interests, I’m just trying to find positivity from outside of the family and try and find ways to ‘hold on to who I am’.
    This is the first time I have EVER written any of this on a forum and you have to remind yourself every small advancement forward is huge and keep reminding yourself you matter, you are important and you value yourself. Your boys are so so blessed to have you. Keep going X

    Dissertation help



    Thanks Bella2016, I am selective who I confide in. And I have never discussed anything really with anyone before, so I know that is a big step for me. I also asked my bank today about setting up a separate bank account. I work, he doesn’t but I will make sure he has money to cover the bills and put petrol in the car etc.

    I hope you find a solution soon.


    Help! So I plucked up the courage to talk to him today and told him I thought I should leave. Now I am confused, he cried a little bit, asked if there is any way back, and is kinda pushing me to make a decision whether I am saying its totally over or whether we can try. I am thinking now perhaps I was a bit premature in telling him and should have just waited until the next blow up and leave………

    Where is my head? One minute I am 100% convinced I need to leave, next minute I feel sorry for him and don’t want to see our family unit dissolved. I told him I don’t feel like my mental health is very good. I feel anxious all the time. He said he understands most of what I am saying but some of it he doesn’t. I don’t think (because his memory is poor or selective) he realises the impact he has had on me.

    Last night he came with me to take the boys to Karate (its in a new place so he needed to know where to take them in the future). I said to him that during the lesson “I need to go to the shopping centre to pick up my eldest’s school books, you can either stay and watch or come with me if you want to”. Knowing he wasn’t in a great mood. Anyway he decided to stay and watch, and today he accused me of meeting a friend during that hour. I didn’t, I went to the shopping centre like I said to pick up the books which he knew, because I had them with me.

    Am I unreasonable? Am I being completely controlled? I don’t honestly think he knows he is doing it half the time….. I asked him to think about what he can do to help things, although I feel and I told him) it might be too late.

    I feel like all the soul searching I have done in the last few days has been flipped and I am back to square one again.

    Truthfully I love him so much, however I know my mental health is staring to be seriously affected!


    Dear jlo5:

    Yesterday you wrote: “I also confided in two more friends, 0ne is very fond of him, so her reaction was quite important to me. The one thing I remember her saying is ‘I would have left him ages ago’. In today’s post you wrote: ” I am thinking now perhaps I was a bit premature in telling him and should have just waited..”

    Your friend whose opinion matters to you said that she would have left him “ages ago” and yet today, you are thinking you leaving him is “a bit premature.”

    In a previous post you wrote that your child told you that she hates when he shouts at you. Children are greatly affected, negatively affected, injured, really, when they grow up with a parent shouting. They need a feeling of safety and peace, not conflict, ongoing conflict and aggression, subtle or loud.

    Your primary responsibility is to your children, to provide for them a peaceful home. This is why leaving him needs to be done.

    I think that you are confused by your feelings of attachment to him and if you waited until you feel absolutely sure leaving is the right thing for you to do, you may wait forever. Accept that you will probably continue to be conflicted about leaving. Don’t wait for a certain feeling before you leave.

    The feeling of attachment/ love for him is confusing you; your attachment to the idea of a family unit is confusing you. Try to see reality for what it is- first, through your children’s eyes and hearts.

    Leave and provide them a no- anger zone in a home they can feel safe and comfortable.



    Hi Anita

    Thanks for your very sensible reply. I know what you are saying, I feel very fragile since talking to him yesterday and before I was feeling strong. Essentially the biggest obstacle for me is to out myself (and the kids) above of his inevitable hurt.
    Saying that I have a house lined up, have taken legal advice and am getting there slowly. I know its a process, I know I am going to feel odd emotions.
    I have never had to break up a relationship, as I only had one boyfriend before him. Its a new thing for me, add in 21 years and two kids, makes it all the more painful I guess.

    I keep thinking perhaps things can improve, but I know they won’t for any length of time, and the damage has been done.


    Dear jlo5:

    It is not necessarily the concern for his well being that has kept you with him but your fear of not being with him. Because you are emotionally attached to him you are afraid to live without him. You wrote: ” I feel very fragile since talking to him yesterday and before I was feeling strong.”

    You felt strong before talking to him, but after you talking to him you became fearful, fearful for your own (perceived) safety. Emotional attachment means safety to us, even when in reality the relationship is dangerous (to us and to our kids!). Moving away from the object of our emotional attachment translates as danger although in reality, in your case and in your children’s case, it translates to safety.


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