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Considering Separating When H is a decent man

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm not really sure how to properly convey this, so bear with me.

 

My husband and I got together when I was 18 and he was 27. I had previously been in an emotionally abusive relationship so my confidence was really low and I barely spoke the first year of my relationship to H. Before I was really able to discover who I was and what I wanted, we were pregnant. Then we were married. And pregnant again.

 

Fast forward to now, I realize I don't have the same consideration for him that he has for me. I don't feel the same sexual attraction to him that he feels for me. I feel indifferent to spending time with him. I don't particularly enjoy his company, not that he is rude or abrasive or anything it's just that I don't especially derive pleasure from having conversations with him. I do love him, but I'm not really IN love with him. But he's crazy about me.

 

We have two kids together, ages 4 and 2. He's a decent father; very loving if not a bit authoritative also (which drives me mad sometimes!). He owns his own business and does well. He does owe back taxes and child support, both of which loom over me and I feel as if it holds us back as a family. He's a good looking man, very charismatic. But I'm just not feeling it. I almost feel as if I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth! I like him as a person, I just don't really want to spend my life with him.

 

I'm afraid of leaving and having my feelings change and then he won't take me back (I know he won't, he's said as much.) I'm afraid of his family being mad at me- its bad enough they don't like how I parent with all of this unconventional natural parenting but without him on my side things could get ugly. I don't want to break his heart even though I know I do it every day that I can't love him as he loves me.

 

Basically I feel like a total jerk and I don't know what to do. Any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated! 

post #2 of 6

Well, you sort of imply that things are great with him and you just feel indifferent... but I see some other things that may be eating away at your marriage and bond together. It's possible those need to be addressed.

 

First, it seems like your parenting styles are different, and that can erode the respect you feel for him.

 

Also, he seems to be managing finances badly (back taxes, child support?). This is worrying you, but does he share your worry and stress, or is he dismissive of your concerns?

 

Your in-laws seem dismissive of you, in any case. That can be a major source of stress and problems in a marriage.

 

You have young children and presumably not a lot of time to grow together as people. You are pretty young, and it's a time when we're all changing and trying to develop interests and learn things and grow. But you have two little kids, and perhaps a husband who isn't interested in the stage of life YOU'RE in. Is that right?

 

Also, you said that he said he wouldn't take you back if you left. When did this come up? Were you discussing some of your concerns and feelings with him? "I won't take you back if you leave," sounds pretty threatening to me, so I sort of wonder about the context of what was said, and if he really is interested in addressing what I see are legitimate sources of unhappiness from you.

 

You've been abused in the past and have admitted to having a low self esteem. Don't sell yourself short, Mama! Just because he wants to have sex with you doesn't mean that you should feel guilty about voicing grievances! Of course he wants to have sex with you: he has a young wife in her twenties. Don't let that make you think you're the jerk here. Often these things have two sides.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Our prenting styles are very different, and he does agree with his family's views but does stand by me. But its not an especially happy thing because we've tried to find middle ground and can't seem to without either me feeling as if I'm going too much against what is good for them (I'm not going to do anything I feel would be outright counter-productive to their growth) or him feeling as if I'm just not listening to him. He feels like I'm always just brushing off his opinions, when really I try to have a conversation about his opinions and find out why he feels the way he does I have done so much research so I can say "well I found out this about child development and this is why I feel like that wouldn't make sense..." he doesn't have a counter argument of his own because his parenting is automatic based on what he experienced.

 

As far as finances go, he owes $15,000 in child support (for a child who lives 15 minutes away and he rarely sees any more than twice a year, and that really bothers me) and $40,000 in back taxes because he was irresponsible in his 20's. Actually, dating me and creating this family with me has set him on a better track and he's "trying" to take care of that stuff but not with what I would call real effort. He does kind of brush it off a little although I know it does worry him too. I just found out that he will only pay portions of various bills at different times. While all bills do have a portion paid each month, they all sit with balances on them. Also, for the large portions he owes to the state, there are warrants we received in regards to them so until they are settled we can't own any property because the state will take it away. That really bothers me too. But then he goes and acts as if I am the one who is irresponsible with money.

 

We have been in counseling for a couple of months now, so he knows how I feel. That's how it came up that he wouldn't take me back. I'm just so annoyed with having him say that he'll support me in anything I want to persue but then rolls his eyes, and huffs, and in the end doesn't truly offer that support despite the fact he really does think he's being supportive. He acts kind of fatherly to me in some ways and it in turn makes me feel like a scolded child and I feel as if my intelligence is taking a hit.

 

I am past the abuse from the previous relationship, I have more confidence now than ever. I just keep wondering if I had had that in the beginning of this relationship if it would have proceeded or if I would have realized sooner that we're not particularly well matched.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRRoss View Post

We have been in counseling for a couple of months now, so he knows how I feel. That's how it came up that he wouldn't take me back. I'm just so annoyed with having him say that he'll support me in anything I want to persue but then rolls his eyes, and huffs, and in the end doesn't truly offer that support despite the fact he really does think he's being supportive. He acts kind of fatherly to me in some ways and it in turn makes me feel like a scolded child and I feel as if my intelligence is taking a hit.

 

Yeah, I get what you mean. He thinks he's being supportive, but is really just being momentarily indulgent. You want REAL support.

 

If you left him, he wouldn't pay child support for your kids, either, which also must make you feel stuck. It sucks being in so much debt that you can't own property. That is a real worry, and I feel like you and he need to have meetings where you work out your budget together. He needs to show you what he's doing with the bills (if there's a balance, etc.) and check in with you monthly so that you have a better idea of how finances are being managed. Wouldn't that also feel like he was treating your like an adult? You are one, and it's your money too, and your kids, and you're a mom and a grown-up.

post #5 of 6

Have you read Dave Ramsey's book on finances (The Total Money Makeover)?  On a mothering group on facebook that I belong to, that was one of the books we all read together since so many moms were in debt.  It totally changed the way I look at money now, and working on finances together with my husband was a revolutionary step for us...it brought us together in a way that I had never imagined it would.  I know it sounds silly, but it was very strange knowing that money had such an upper hand on us (and we only had 7k in total debt!).

 

It really is wonderful to read--it won't make you feel badly about your debt--and it will definitely give you a reason to work together on something.  It's worth a try anyhow--at least for the sake of your children.  If he's not doing anything wrong, perhaps try to put the separation on the back burner for a little bit and try really throwing yourself into it.  Try to make a date night and work on finances.  Those two things have really helped us through a lot.  

 

Before you do something that is irreversible, just give this a try!

Maggie

post #6 of 6

The fact that he has a child 15 mins away that he barely sees says aLOT about his character. I can see how a business owner could get behind in taxes (its a lot easier when its withheld from you) but when you factor that with the outstanding child support, I don't know. Another character hit. Sounds like a pattern of shirking ownership of his responsibilities.

 

That said, I do think you need to consider the impact to your kids, as it sounds like he has the potential to just "move on" once another woman is in the picture. Is it easier to stay and work things out so that your kids have an active parent or do you want to risk them growing apart from him?

 

I really do feel for you, as I can't imagine marrying the guy I was with at 18. As nice as he was, I realized too a few years in that we had little in common and stayed too long out of guilt.

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