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Old 04-02-2010, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey moms, were any of you in the situation before you and your ex broke up where things were just fine on a day to day basis but on a deeper level, you were totally dissatisfied and unhappy?
That's basically where I am. DP has many great qualities like being helpful, trustworthy, considerate, responsible, etc. But I just don't love him, and I don't even really like him that much- we have different interested, different worldviews, different ideas of what is important in life, and very, very different values. I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I CAN'T stay with him and be happy- I have given it my best shot and he just isn't the man for me. I'm sure of it.

I haven't left him bc our daughter is only 22 mos. But now she's getting old enough where I can imagine being away from her a few nights a month.

The problem is I just don't see how I will extricate myself from this relationship. On a day-to-day basis things are okay- we handle logistics well and get along fine about who's doing what when and money etc. It's not like we are having screaming arguments every day or even every week. We do disagree a lot but we're so used to it that it doesn't get out of hand, its just depressing. Our home is kind of depressing, not a happy place really.

Anyway so if you were in a situation like this, how did it end? How did you finally find the courage to dissolve something fuctional so that you could find happiness. DId you just have to break it down one day to your loving nice partner that you were unhappy? PS I KNOW counseling would NOT help because it would never change his values which i find to be abhorrent.

thx
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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I was in a similar situation with my ex. Although we were having some screaming rows towards to end. But on the face of it things weren't so bad. We were both unhappy and depressed and like you, we had some fundamental value clashes. Basically what happened was I told him how unhappy in the relationship I was. We talked for a long time and agreed to live appart. He didn't want to split up but agreed that living unhappily wasn't a healthy thing to show our kids. We were able to keep living together while we made arangements (about 4 months) fairly amicably and things have been mostly good since then.
I did find it difficult to explain to people why we split up but found that just saying it was for the best for all of us and a painful and personal decision tended to stop too much poking around.
I think perhaps it might be easier to prepare him a little by letting him know how unhappy you are with out talking about splitting to begin with. Perhaps even if counselling can't help resolve your differences it might be able to help you both with the transition to parenting with out being a couple.
I hope that you are able to find a way to deal with this difficult situation.

Ruth, mum to B (9), P (8) and T (5)

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Old 04-02-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Rainbow, that's really helpful to hear.
When you brooched the topic was he surprised? Angry? As much as things seem normal and fine I do think he has an idea that I am deeply unhappy. And I also think that he is pretty unhappy too, although he doesn't say so.
Do you feel like you still have a pretty good co-parenting relationship? I think i'm also afraid that he will be so angry and heartbroken that it will be very very hard to coparent...
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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I wasn't in this situation in my relationship with my son's father, but I was in a similar situation a few years ago. We had been dating for about two or three years. Good guy in general, stable, treated me well, but we had deeply different value systems and I wasn't happy with him. I was in my early 20s and had what I describe as a "quarter-life crisis." It was a feeling of deep dissatisfaction with my life that lasted for several months. There wasn't anything overtly wrong with my life, but I desperately wanted changes. Looking back, I realize I was young and felt intensely trapped. It was really difficult for me to break up with him because there wasn't anything "wrong," but I finally did (it was messy) and I got a student work visa and backbacked all over the place and moved to New Zealand and Australia for a couple of years. It was the best couple years of my life. I was young and independent and having adventures all over the world; I was very poor and very happy. I'm so glad that I didn't let myself get trapped in an unsatisfying marriage at such a young age.
It gets more complex when you have kids, but I really believe that you only have one life to live, and you deserve a shot at happiness. If you know you're in a relationship that will never make you happy, you have the right to leave it. Your kids deserve a mother who has a shot at happiness.
I think most people understand that normal relationships have cycles of ups and downs, and over the years you are more or less happy. But if you're sure that this is not the relationship for you -- why waste your youth and your life on it?

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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Yes, I'm currently in a similar situation. I'm not sure yet how it will end, but (as of a week ago) my 23-mo. old DS and I are staying with my parents for now. DH and I are most likely headed for divorce, but I'm still very conflicted about our whole relationship (and this is after years of trying to make things better and trying to reach a decision and months of counseling). Whatever happens...reconcile or divorce...I'm still not sure I will be able to make either decision with 100% certainty that it's the right decision. I'm so scared I will choose wrong. It would be SO nice to be able to see the future at times like this!

I don't really even know how to explain my marriage, but it sounds very similar to what you describe. DH is a good man in general, but I'm coming to realize that we're not really that good together. I have tried to change myself (as far as I'm willing to change for another person), but I don't feel that I can ask another person to change their personality or core beliefs for me. And I don't think DH is willing or able to change, anyway. Soooo...here we are in our current situation.

One thing that did push me into separating was that I don't want my son growing up thinking that this is what love and marriage is like. There will be ups and downs in any relationship, but the constant atmosphere shouldn't be one of depression and gloom. Also, if one of your main worries is that your LO will be away overnight, I'm pretty sure you could build your custody agreement so that there are no overnights until she's older. That is my plan, if it comes to that, especially since DS is still nursing at night.

{{Hugs}} to you. This is so hard.

Mama to DS (5)

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Old 04-05-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MeloMama08 View Post
Hey moms, were any of you in the situation before you and your ex broke up where things were just fine on a day to day basis but on a deeper level, you were totally dissatisfied and unhappy?
That's basically where I am. DP has many great qualities like being helpful, trustworthy, considerate, responsible, etc. But I just don't love him, and I don't even really like him that much- we have different interested, different worldviews, different ideas of what is important in life, and very, very different values. I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I CAN'T stay with him and be happy- I have given it my best shot and he just isn't the man for me. I'm sure of it.

I haven't left him bc our daughter is only 22 mos. But now she's getting old enough where I can imagine being away from her a few nights a month.

The problem is I just don't see how I will extricate myself from this relationship. On a day-to-day basis things are okay- we handle logistics well and get along fine about who's doing what when and money etc. It's not like we are having screaming arguments every day or even every week. We do disagree a lot but we're so used to it that it doesn't get out of hand, its just depressing. Our home is kind of depressing, not a happy place really.

Anyway so if you were in a situation like this, how did it end? How did you finally find the courage to dissolve something fuctional so that you could find happiness. DId you just have to break it down one day to your loving nice partner that you were unhappy? PS I KNOW counseling would NOT help because it would never change his values which i find to be abhorrent.

thx
Oh lord. This is the relationship I am in right now. I'm not sure what to do about it either; following an attempt (on my end) to break up with my gf, it ended in us agreeing to work on it... but I'm not sure how that's going to go.

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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I am divorced from my dd father's, but have been in a relationship with a father of 2 boys for the last few years. We live together, but it has never really been good. He is very sweet to me and my ex husband was terrible to me. I thought we had more in common in the beginning, but we really don't. He doesn't do any chores or work on the house and it's driving me crazy. I have tried talking to him, but it doesn't seem to get through.
We never fight, so it's hard to say what exactly is wrong, but I know I have to go. I just can't seem to do it. Sigh.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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Yep, I was in this situation exactly. Married to a good man, basically, and we were seemingly happy and all that but deep down I was really unhappy.

I'll be honest and say that what motivated me was meeting and falling in love with someone else. I'm not proud of it or saying that this was a great way of going about things but it was my path and it was what got me thinking about things.

I freaked out when I met this other man and went into counseling and stopped seeing him and told my STBX how unhappy I was. I am so glad that I did this, because I almost didn't, I almost just up and left him. What ensued was several months (four?) of individual and couple's therapy, journaling, meditating, trying new things, date nights, communicating more than I ever had and learning to articulate more deeply and strongly the source of my unhappiness. Through this process, I grew confident that we weren't meant to be together. It was never for one moment an easy decision, especially because STBX was DESPERATE to save the marriage (that's not to say, however, that he was able to actually BE the man that I needed to him to be, and fair enough; it's not who he is).

A few things led to me realizing that I could and should leave and I did. I had all the doubts that many of you have expressed. One never knows the outcome of their decisions and especially with things this important, it's so easy to become paralyzed with doubt, wondering if you'll ever know what is right or be able to live without terrible regret.

I regret the mistakes that I made, but because of all of the emotional/spiritual work that I did at the end of the marriage, I felt strong enough and clear enough to make a decision and be able to live with it.

I have had bouts of terrible, abiding grief and regret...but never the feeling that I would be happier with STBX. In fact, I remained more convinced than ever that he and I just don't belong together.

My life has taken some very interesting turns, to say the least, since splitting with X. I am now expecting a baby with my then-lover (now partner). I get scared and I feel ashamed and guilty still sometimes. But I also feel really strong and JOYFUL and open to the future in a way that I haven't felt in so long. I don't know what the future holds (none of us do!) but I am trying really hard to apply the lessons that I have learned over the past year to myself and my life, and to my new relationship.

What I would advise to anyone in this situation is to be really honest with themselves (sounds like you are, OP) and ALSO with the partner because you may work through some things that surprise you, even if it doesn't lead to reconciliation. And then make a decision and know that none of us can know the future and that you can only make the decision that feels right in our hearts and then we try to live with it.

Best of luck to all of you grappling with this, I know how terribly difficult it is.

Mama to a beautiful girl since May 2007 and a beautiful boy since August 2010! :
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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Yep, I was in this situation exactly. Married to a good man, basically, and we were seemingly happy and all that but deep down I was really unhappy.

I'll be honest and say that what motivated me was meeting and falling in love with someone else. I'm not proud of it or saying that this was a great way of going about things but it was my path and it was what got me thinking about things.

It was never for one moment an easy decision, especially because STBX was DESPERATE to save the marriage (that's not to say, however, that he was able to actually BE the man that I needed to him to be, and fair enough; it's not who he is).

Oh god. This is how I feel and what I am terrified will happen.

I am not in love with DH, so what if I fall in love with someone else? Then I couldn't tolerate our mediocre situtation anymore.

But he begs me to stay.

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

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Old 04-06-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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Oh god. This is how I feel and what I am terrified will happen.

I am not in love with DH, so what if I fall in love with someone else? Then I couldn't tolerate our mediocre situtation anymore.

But he begs me to stay.
Well, darling, it sounds like you already have more self-awareness than I had at the time that all this happened. On one level, I knew I was really unhappy. But on the other hand, I never saw the risks of not addressing my unhappiness--I didn't see that by not doing anything about my situation that something like could happen (that is, that I would let something like that happen). I didn't and that's what happened to me. I certainly don't wish it on you, either (even though I'm quite happy now ).

So I guess my best advice to you would be to start really working on, if not your marriage, then YOU.

Also, remember: (and I'm not criticizing because I KNOW so much how you feel, I remember saying all the time "I just feel like he won't LET me leave.") if you think you need to leave, YOU HAVE THAT POWER. HE CANNOT MAKE YOU STAY. But you have to come to a place where you realize that you have that power.

Mama to a beautiful girl since May 2007 and a beautiful boy since August 2010! :
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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I ended my marriage before things got ugly when I realized it wasn't going to work. Even though we both came from divorced families and didn't want to do this to our kids. Even when he bargained to change anything I wanted him to change if I'd stay and give him another chance.

I don't think it's okay to change yourself too much for a relationship, and I don't think it's a great thing for your kids to grow up witnessing a strained relationship between their parents.

I also don't completely know about the whole idea of marrying for love and expecting to stay together for life based upon romantic love you felt for months or years at one time in your life, because love fades. It can come back, I've heard.

I thought about, and even asked for, an open marriage as a compromise to my getting what I wanted from a romantic partner and being able to keep my marriage together. I thought about sacrificing what I felt like I wanted and needed at the time in the interest of staying in the marriage. I think a lot about my grandparents who were married for 60+ years...there's something very powerful about a lifelong partnership. Something reassuring, safe, honorable.

I don't know the right answer, but I know the decision I made (to leave and preserve what we had left between us, which has grown since then and it's turned out to make our relationship better). I wish things could've gone differently because divorce, single parenting, and spending the next 20+ years of your life actively involved with your ex as a coparent is slippery ground. The harder path.

Peace of mind and heart to you as you figure it out.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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I lived with my ex for years feeling trapped, lonely, and basically without a friend. I voiced all these concerns to him, suggested counseling, but he wasn't willing. Decent man, provider, but extremely different from me.

what changed? Over the summer, I got a job outside the home. The feeling of independence the job gave me, led to the courage of telling him, divorce was the only way to go. But before we could work out logistics, he moved 75 miles away and took our daughter with him. why? to move in with his mother and to his beloved, small town.
I was able to coax him into working out something temporarily before we went to court to fight for full custody. The plan has been that I keep her one week and he, the other. Let me tell you, it has been HELL for her and for me. I'm biding my time. As it is, I have zero money (got laid off) and relying on state assistance, my mother's car, and generally between a rock and a hard place right now.

I am also deeply hurting for my 3 yo daughter but I could not stay with him and have her witness an unhappy mother. I'm her role model and I would not want her to stay in a marriage "for the kids". I keep telling myself, this is all temporary and soon things will be better.But, a huge part of me is happier. I feel like I can breathe again.

Mama to a 3.5 yo dd
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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Hi mama,

I just wanted to repost something that I found a while ago that really helped me with the guilt I felt for leaving my STBX. Though the relationship was fundamentally flawed (and abusive), it wasn't like some Jerry Springer drama. It had the potential to be but I chose to leave before it got worse and before my entire being was consumed with unhappiness.

I hope you can relate to this:

(You are reading from Mars & Venus starting over. By John Gray, Ph.D.)
"Some people hold on to guilt because they believe that they are bad and should feel guilty for leaving a partner who feels hurt, betrayed, or abandoned. This is incorrect thinking. If we realize that a relationship is not right for us, then it cannot be right for our partner. The greatest gift we can give someone is the opportunity to find love. If we are unable to get what we need in a relationship, then we can never give another what he/she needs. We will feel too resentful. Only by leaving him/her will he/she be free to find the love he/she needs.

Sometimes even when we are the ones who are the victims, we feel guilty for leaving. We may mistakenly feel sorry for our partners, when really they should be feeling sorry for the ways they have hurt us. This tendency to feel guilty is the result of suppressing the four healing emotions."


Does this make sense to you? You owe it to yourself and to your daughter to seek out happiness. She's 22 months old right now and she'll soon start to learn how basic relationships are structured. You have the opportunity to teach her that it's ok to ask for happiness and to go after it. Yes, you may well have to don the "Bad Guy" mantle and people may talk about how bad you were for leaving "a good marriage", but do you want to look back, 20 years from now, still in your unhappy situation, feeling perhaps worse, and know that you only stayed to prevent your spouse from being unhappy/angry?

Regarding his potential anger and hurt...this is simply not something you can control. You only control yourself. Everything else is completely out of your hands. Yes, he will undoubtedly go through a period of mourning, and then, as it always does, time will pass, life will go on, and you'll find a different way to interact/parent together.

*hugs* mama, I know how hard this must be.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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I love that quote. That's another one I should tattoo on my brain.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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I just want to send you a and let you know that you're not alone. I'm in a similar situation and it's awful. But I know that if DP and I split up, he and I will be better people and parents. It's hard to think that way right now, (I just told him how I felt a few days ago), but I know it's for the best

Good luck with everything.

Peace~

S~ Peace loving, natural living, FuNkY vegan mama to Keiran bouncy.gif 23/Dec/06:
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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That is a great quote. I need to get that book!

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