February 20, 2015 at 8:46 am #73063
First off, I feel I know what the right choice is already, but upon discussing my feelings with close friends / family I’m getting very conflicting advice and feelings…I’m also having a hard time organizing everything I want to say with this post, so I apologize in advance for it being long and confusing!
Our current situation is my partner and I have now lived together common-law for about 3 years and have 2 children together from the 3 years we have been together. The first kid happened very early in our relationship when we both were recovering from other long term breakups…and things just kind of went from there to what they are now. There are no huge or messy issues with our relationship, we don’t have raging fights or anything of the like…..it’s more so the absence of a relationship that is the real problem. Also, currently I’m a stay at home mom for the kids while he works full time, as the cost of daycare in our area for both exceeded what I made at my previous job. :-/
Anyways….in the beginning of the relationship I was the one who was fully invested / in love, etc. and he was the elusive, unsure one. He even had an ’emotional affair’ with a female friend of his that he outright denied at the time, but recently told me upon them ending their friendship that she frequently bad-mouthed me to him. As time went on, all my focus was on the young kids so I am also to blame for avoiding issues as they came, and somewhere over the course of the last year I realized I was no longer in love with him. Then all the little things became big things to me (his regular everyday use of weed, video gaming, un-willingness to do any outdoor activities or assist me with yardwork, etc. etc.) whereas normally I just let him do what he wanted and anything that needed to be done I just did it and didn’t complain as I didn’t want to fight in front of young kids. Now the relationship has Totally turned around. Not too long ago I full out told him all of my frustrations, and he has now been trying to quit weed (again), trying to help me out more, and practically begging me to stay with him and marry him. I even straight out told him I was worried for us because I was finding myself attracted to someone else I knew as well. 🙁 He instantly took that to mean I was cheating on him, in which I have assured him I was absolutely no where close to anything like that and that I could show him any and all online contact I have ever had with said person, as well I have never ever seen him outside of public group events we participate in….I tried to explain it was just a little ‘crush’ and the reason I told him because I was worried what it meant for the future of us. Unfortunately that became the focus of what to worry about for him, whereas to me that issue was no where close to what my highest frustrations were.
All that random explaining aside, all I can say is I can see we are such different people with different interests / outlooks on life and I fear that as time goes on we will just clash more and more…..and the more I’m feeling that way, the more he is ‘desperately clinging’ to me and it’s pushing me mentally further to want to venture out on my own….for example I suggested I wanted to take the kids on a weekend trip to visit some old friends of mine and he instantly took offense to my plan because he wasn’t in it when I first mentioned it. I suggested the idea of me going on a 4 day trip in the summer with friends to a conference of interest to me, and he outright refused ‘approving’ me going based on both him not being able to handle the kids alone for that long and the fact the ‘crush’ I had was going to be there too….and a week ago I took the kids in the morning to a grocery store and he sent me a text saying he was having a hard time with the fact I’m leaving the house alone with the kids while he was asleep. He even recently said he wants to attend my ‘group events’ to just sit and watch now, and the fact that I told him that is just weird and awkward made him say that’s a big red flag to him that I’m cheating on him…..but I’ve told him time and time again he needs to just trust me on the fact that I simply am not! He keeps telling me he’s scared I’m just going to ‘disappear’ one day, and I keep assuring him I would never do that for the sake of us and our kids. I’ve even told him that if things were to not work out I have full intentions of maintaining a mature friendship for the sake of our children. Anyways, I’m now being made to feel that I’m truly the ‘bad guy’ in this relationship and it’s really wearing on me. The one thing I do admit I’m absolutely guilty for is that I’m not emotionally there / in love with him anymore and I can’t change that feeling at this point. When he asked me 2 days ago if I still want to marry him, I truthfully told him I’m not certain anymore.
So, that’s where things stand now. I wish to be able to free myself from this situation, but to retain a respectful relationship for the sake of our kids. But, everyone else advises me that I need to ‘hang on’ and see it through because that’s what is best for the kids…not to mention the financial issues I will have as well by separating from him. Are my family and friends right to say I need to try harder / give it a longer chance at this point when both him and I know that I can’t fully give all my love to him at this point? I have on many occasions when I first felt things falling apart, suggested therapy, and suggested personal therapy for his own issues…at which I was met with comments such as “I thought you were supposed to be the one there for me but now you’re telling me what everyone else always tells me in my life. Now I don’t feel I can talk to you anymore.”
*At a loss*February 20, 2015 at 9:16 am #73067Ashley ArcelParticipant
Hi There Tsukushim,
First of all, I heartily disagree that you need to spend the next few decades of your life sacrificing your happiness because that’s “whats best for the kids”. That’s old wisdom that came from a much different time and doesn’t fully apply to life today. What kids need to see is love and cohesion, yes, but there are about a million ways to create that and, should you stay with this man and continue to feel the way that you do today, there’s going to come a time when they get a little older and go “Wow, our parents are in a loveless marriage.” I, for one, think that’s more damaging than just about anything else.
That said, it seems like you have a two options: you can leave right now or you can fight a little more for your space and see if that makes you feel any different. The fact that he is refusing you weekend trips and time alone is incredibly dangerous. Most likely, he is afraid of being abandoned and, because of that, he’s trying desperately to cling to you which, of course, only drives you further away. If there’s any part of you that believes this relationship is salvageable or even wants to salvage it in the first place, I’d recommend maybe going to counseling together and being really insistent about your need to spend some time alone doing things you love. You don’t have to go places your crush is going and I’m sure you could find a friend of family member to help him with the kids if he is uncomfortable with you taking them. In any event, he needs to release the death grip or he is going to poison just about everything between you two. On the other hand, you could leave right now and it does seem like there is a large part of you that wants to do that. If that’s the case, that’s an entirely valid decision and you should not feel ashamed or cowed about it. As long as you continue to model stability, love, grace, dignity and respect in your own life and keep things as civil as possible between you and him, they’ll grow up knowing what strength looks like, which is really a better example to set than teaching them to grow up believing that it’s healthy or acceptable to stay for years in a relationship that makes you unhappy. All the best to you. Please keep us posted.
AshleyFebruary 20, 2015 at 12:21 pm #73074
Thank you for your input Ashley!
The whole thing is an emotional mess almost hour to hour. For example today at lunch he came home and said he was perfectly fine now about things and seemed to be out of his “clinging” mindset. He is a good father, the kids do love him, and I see moments where I feel things could be okay if I ‘wait it out’, but then I realize what I’m experiencing in those good moments now is how I want things to be if we were ‘friends’ sharing parenting duties….as I still just can’t bring myself to honestly provide physical intimacy anymore.
As for what you said about providing a good example of a healthy relationship to my children, that is totally true, and I should know better considering my own parents separated when I was almost done high school….and recall thinking “Why didn’t they just move on sooner?”.
Honestly the only thing holding me back at this point is being scared of breaking my kids’ hearts by separating their family as they’ve known it so far….they’re such happy little souls!February 20, 2015 at 2:01 pm #73075YueParticipant
Ashley provided some good advice there and it sounds like the relationship has been deteriorating for a while. Children are pretty adaptable to new environments, they have to considering how much growth they go through everyday. So even though it may cause some initial distress, it will work out in the long run. On the other hand, if you stay in an unhappy relationship where your partner try to control your every move, that’s a bad message that gets reinforced everyday and may impact on how they handle romantic relationship in the future.
Then of course there is your own happiness to consider. Things will be tough both emotionally and financially to start off with so you have to ask yourself whether you are someone who is happy to live in a gilded cage or one who takes her chances to fly into the wilds? Once you have identified who you want the be, the rest are just barriers you have to knock over to reach your destination.
Best wishes.February 21, 2015 at 7:57 am #73092
Thank you for your great input! Lots of great, but simple wisdom for me to consider now. 🙂February 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm #73097N.Participant
I agree with the fact that children are resilient lil things 🙂 It’s better for them to be away from their father and in a healthy environment, than to be with him in a bad situation. When they’re older, they will (hopefully) understand.
Good luck to you 🙂February 22, 2015 at 5:37 am #73133
Well just to follow up at this point, I explained in truth last night to him that my thoughts have gone so far as to consider us retaining a respectful friendship and me ‘letting him go’ as my significant other because it’s not fair to him that I can’t give him the intimacy he desires, nor is it fair to the kids, etc.
His initial response was at first to suggest that’s even more reason for us to get married because divorce is more difficult, so I would be forced to try harder and he would have piece of mind I can’t just ‘leave’, which I of course pointed out being a horrible reason to get married…. He also said he is frustrated by how I just do everything I want to do usually without consulting him much in it (such as joining new activities, getting a gym membership, going to University part-time, etc.), and said he’s already ‘been there done it all including education’ so he doesn’t need to keep learning and doing new things in his life because he knows what he wants now. And lastly he says if we split up he loses ‘Everything’. I tried to explain the worst case scenario being him not losing everything as he still has his children and we still spend time together with them and maintain a friendship similar to what we have…and really that’s not as bad as us hating and disrespecting each other! I know that truthfully he’s scared of his family thinking he’s a ‘failure’ as he constantly shoulders a burden that his family ‘looks down upon him’ and thinks he’s not capable of much and this would just compliment those thoughts…..but I guess that’s truly not my responsibility to deal with those feelings of failure and loss he’s worried of?
So, that being said. I said I want to maintain our working relationship for a bit (and for me a bit is maybe a max of 1 month) ‘as is’ to see if I have any chance for a change of heart, which he wants me to try for as well…so I will wait things out a bit after explaining my real intentions to see if that remains as my real intention still? Hah.February 24, 2015 at 7:07 am #73247
Well I hate to feel bothersome just adding to my story here haha….at this point I am just so emotionally worn down based on things that happened over the last 2 days that I really don’t know where else to state my feelings about events at the moment….
My ideas that we could ‘civilly’ handle the crisis I laid out about ‘not being in love anymore’ have totally gone out the window. It’s been turned into events with everything from him yelling insults at me in front of the kids, with me and the kids crying at points (In which he said he was happy to see me cry because I just seem like an emotionless robot to him otherwise), to him crying and begging me not to leave and apologizing for the last few years over and over, back to him talking about how he’s done no wrong and he has many issues with how I’m being a ‘mother’…..and he doesn’t believe the things that hurt me were anything he needs to apologize for because they were ‘true’. For example “You’re not living up to your duties as a mother because I often come home to chaos and no supper on the table” , “You deciding to go to University part time totally went against what our original plan was with you staying at home and has made you neglect the kids” , “I better keep track of my own finances now because if we separate I’m going to be the one providing for the kids since you can’t” …it goes on….. and now today it’s back to “I want you to try harder to be affectionate to me so we can work this out” …. I feel like now I just Have to owe that to him whether or not I feel in love anymore is beside the point……I know it really hurt him to say I’m not in love anymore and as he stated many times “I did so much for you, and complimented you all the time, and supported your random interests, etc. and this is all I get back” but really…that’s now how I felt the last couple years….February 24, 2015 at 8:53 am #73257AprilParticipant
I don’t like this guy. At all. I’m sorry but when i imagine myself with a guy you described. I would have left him. a long time ago.
I believe you deserve better.February 24, 2015 at 9:19 am #73258WillParticipant
“but I guess that’s truly not my responsibility to deal with those feelings of failure and loss he’s worried of?”
Quoted for truth.
He’s not handling this in a mature way, and dragging this out will make things worse. The longer you stay in this situation, the more it will damage your view of him, his view of you, and the emotional tranquillity of your kids. You need to separate, and he needs to get a grip.
And let’s say this again: “that’s truly not my responsibility to deal with those feelings of failure and loss he’s worried of.”
This is really tough and I wish the both of you pull through with some respect and friendly feeling towards each other. But I think a clean break is the best way to get there.February 24, 2015 at 11:37 am #73260
Thank you for giving me some confidence back here! I guess I just have to find out at this point what ‘rights’ he has to the kids (almost 3 and almost 2), as now he has been completely playing up his role in their life and telling me he believes he would be the one to get them and I’d be stuck with occasional ‘visiting rights’…that really does scare me, and the truth is he’s never spent longer then 8 hours alone with them himself so how he expects to handle them full time is beyond me. (Unless he is only saying that as a last resort scare tactic, who knows)…February 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm #73262YueParticipant
On the more technical side of things, the mother gets custody of the kids in 80% of the cases in family law court, especially if you gave been the primary carer since their birth. If you are unsure you can always consult a family lawyer and most of them will provide the first consultation for free (just ring and check first). With the way your partner is behaving, it sounds like it might be going down this road so it’s better to be prepared for the worst.
On the emotional side of things, my heart goes out to you. The thing is, how long can you remain in a relationship due to guilt? With the way he is behaving, you will eventually reach a point where his presence alone will repulse you. Is there somewhere you and your kids can stay on a temporary basis? If so, it’s probably time to consider an escape plan because all it takes now is a drunken night out for him before things hit the fan.June 16, 2015 at 8:38 am #78324
Well, I’m coming back here as things are so close to my ‘turning’ point, and so much has happened since I last posted and I’m just having a moment of emotional turmoil with changes coming at me quickly now. Things progressively got worse, we did go to counseling together for a bit, but things Still got worse at home. And by worse I mean a month ago there was a point I called the police because he was freaking out at me for hiding posts on my Facebook page from him….and he turned on my computer and ordered me to log on and show him to prove I wasn’t cheating on him, pushed me off of my computer then physically held me back so he could attempt to read my private message with the man he’s constantly accusing me of cheating with….he even contacted my friend on his own accord and told him to stay away from me (in which my friend became more supportive of me when he found out what was going on!).
Less than a month ago he broke his hand punching a desk out of anger when I was trying to discuss with him that we need to separate and I’m looking for a place….
Every single time I feel he Knows we are separating and we end up ‘getting along’ for a day after such a discussion, he suddenly assumes and acts like we are back together again because there were no incidents between us…
Now for the last week or so….he has been going overboard with the gifts / compliments / I love you’s / I’m now a changed man so you can be proud of me one day…..
So, I did speak to a lawyer to know my rights….unfortunately just leaving with the kids in my case wasn’t to my advantage because where I live I HAVE to provide him access to them when there are no custody orders, and he would be allowed to do the same to me…and the last thing I wanted was to get the kids caught in the middle of some mess like that…On that note he has used them against me in the recent past saying things such as “If you ever leave with the kids without my permission, I’m calling the police to report you for kidnapping!”
I got myself on the waiting list for legal aid where I’m from..and this week I meet up with my lawyer who is supposed to help me with custody, etc…..the other thing being in the province I am from the courts seek 50/50 as much as possible, even if there is a history of drug use, etc…..so I really need to be careful about this as well. I keep getting told the absolute best thing is to agree with him without the courts being involved on child arrangements, unless there’s absolute proof of his behaviour. :-/
That being said, I have the paperwork in my hands to sigh a lease to move out….and as much as I know that one day I will be proud for making that choice, I’m having a bit of a panic attack of feeling of absolute guilt for what I’m doing to him, as he said I’m taking everything away from him that matters, destroying our family, etc……logically I know that’s not true and this choice I will be happy with, but emotionally right now I’m feeling this is overboard and too much…..he’s being so nice now, he’s a good dad, he’s taken care of us financially, I’ll make things even worse with this choice…..gah!!June 16, 2015 at 9:17 am #78327MattParticipant
You are not going overboard, you’re climbing back into your own boat. He has shown you his true colors, that if he isn’t getting what he wants, he manipulates and belittles, threatens and becomes violent. Leaving him may be exactly the thing he needs to hit bottom and get help. Regardless, you have to do what is right for you. This is just a hump, a hill, and it makes sense that it would be scary. You’re on the cusp of freedom, dear sister, and have done the good work to prepare yourself for the flight. Breathe, jump.
May favorable winds carry you toward saftey and home.
MattJune 16, 2015 at 9:37 am #78329anitaParticipant
I read most of your posts here. I usually do not quote from the bible- i am not religious in any way and do not believe in the bible other than being written by men, but the quote from there that comes to mind is: “let your yes be YES and let your no be NO.”
You have been acting unskillfully, ineffectively in your indecision and behavior, harming not only the kids but your partner. In telling him about your crush on another man, there was no advantage to that, no possible advantage for him or for the kids. It is maybe that you were trying to move things along toward a separation from him without being direct about it (not letting your NO be a NO- but adding fuel the situation, hoping the fire will move you toward the NO that you desire).
In other words, you were not honest with him and he has been suffering because of your dishonesty, indecision.
I hope that you completely abandon your yo-yoing with him and with the kids and make up your mind one way or another and go with it single mindedly.