Splitting with DP... *NEW UPDATE*-He changed his mind. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's time for Dp and I to split once and for all.......

HE rolled over this morning in bed, cuddled me and said "I'm going to look for an apartment today"

Seems he brings up how "miserable our relationship is" about every other week or so and we have the "we should part ways" thing every three or four months.

I didn't know our relationship was so miserable... I'm not so miserable about it!!! I love him, I love to seem him... I'm beyond devestated... and three and a half months left to go... SAHM...

He offered for me to stay here, in our *NEW* apartment... we moved in less than a month ago. He offered to pay my rent. But I dont want him paying my rent... it doesn't seem right... child support is not ex-fiance support. Rent is $825 and I need to go back to school if he's leaving me... I need to get a career so that I can some day support myself and my two daughters...

I'm so scared... sacred of being alone, scared of having a baby and raising a baby alone... some people in life are afriad of commitment and I'm afraid of having no one... we've been together almost 5 years... I'm sobbing right now and I took off my engagment ring tonight...

Mamas... what am I going to do???
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#2 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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I've been there mama and it isn't easy but you will make it. It may be hard to see the light right now but it is likely for the best. You deserve someone who will wake up in the morning happy to see you and accept you for who you are. When you're ready come on over to the single parenting forum, I have gotten so much support from the women there over the past 3 years while dealing with my own divorce. I'm sure you will gain strength from them too.

I'm so sorry you are having to go through this

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#3 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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#4 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 02:52 AM
 
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"He offered to pay my rent. But I dont want him paying my rent... it doesn't seem right... child support is not ex-fiance support."

I'm not sure I get it- why would paying to house his kids be ex-fiance support? I am not sure what does not seem right about it. Not wanting to be with you is one thing but he should feel responsible for taking care of his own flesh and blood. You deserve to be happy and your kids deserve a happy mom who is appreciated by everyone including her mate- so keep that as a separate issue from the financial responsibilities this man has to the children. In the end it might even be better for your daughters to not have to be in a household where there always seem to be a threat of someone leaving which sounds like the way you guys have been existing for sometime now.
So- ^^%@#@*&^&@^ him. You deserve better for yourself and for your kids and when he offers to help out (as he should) don't think of it as a hand out but as his duty. You are doing your part by nurturing your baby and being the constant in your kids life - he should do his. ON a side note - although you are not "officially" married- per a ceremony/piece of paper/etc- you know you are married right? In most states that's already married and he still would be obligated to provide child support and alimony. Just a thought especially if you are just starting from scratch and have three kids to support. Anyway, that is my two cents.

You are a lot stronger than you think you are. Everyone is actually.
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#5 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 07:11 AM
 
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Oh honey, I'm so sorry you are going through this. You are in my prayers.

Please try to get him to commit in writing or in front of someone to his financial obligations now, before he decides it isn't his problem. Consult someone with legal training sooner rather than later. Child support is his obligation, and it is your baby's safety net.

If he signed a lease with you, he is legally obligated to pay the rent, at least until you can make reasonable accommodations (move or get a roommate.) DO NOT LET HIM OUT OF THIS OBLIGATION. Every $825 (or even $412.50) you can save is another $825 you can use to shelter/feed/warm your children a few months from now.

Don't do it for yourself--do it for your CHILD who deserves shelter and food. Your feelings may make this difficult right now, but too many guys who have the kind of commitment issues you talked about previously "forget" their obligations really quickly.

I'm sure it doesn't feel like it right now, but any "man" who can walk out on a pregnant woman is completely unworthy of your love and respect. In the end, as far away as it seems, you will be better off because you will have room in your life for a real man who understands commitment and is a trustworthy life-partner for you.

Living with a scoundrel is worse than being alone. I went through a terribly painful breakup many years ago from the first man I thought I would marry. Every day now, I thank God that it ended BEFORE I'd been tied to him by law, BEFORE we had children, because now I understand what it is to be with someone who really wants to be with me, who is trustworthy and honorable, and in whose hands I can fearlessly place the care of our child, the most precious gift God has given me in my very fortunate life.

Please PM if you want to talk, or keep posting here, or whatever helps you. Cry and scream if you want to. Get it out. In a few days, try to find some counseling so that you don't consider returning to this person if he attempts to reconcile. When you are ready, try reading "Exorcise Your Ex"--it is a great book for getting over a bad relationship.

God bless you, sweetheart. Be strong for your baby. Tell us how we can help.

--willo
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#6 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 09:56 AM
 
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Mama!

I am sorry this is happening to you right now.

Like other has said, if you need anything I am happy to help!
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#7 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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Aw no, sweetheart, what a blow! And at a time when you really needed to be able to count on him, too. I don't suppose there's any hope that marriage or individual counselling could help bring you back together? You don't mention that you've seen anyone, and a lot of counsellors have sliding fee scales to help out folks who don't have a lot of money. Or maybe your insurance would cover it? Even if it's just for your girls' sake, it has to be worth a try.

In the meantime, if there's anything I can do, let me know. I don't have a lot of extra cash, or any extra baby gear lying around, but I sew for a living and can put a mei tai or sling together for you, if nothing else.
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#8 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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I'm sorry mama. Keep posting/venting/asking, you have a community of support here.
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#9 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys....

I KNOW you guys are right about so many things but it seems like some how this whole situation is different.

He's not trying to run out on a pregnant woman... I think I encourage it more... I feel like it would be easier now than another year from now. If it's going to happen eventually, better sooner than later you know?

At the risk of sounding as foolish as I am I will tell you all that he has cheated on my on and off for at least the first two years... each time I went to leave, he begged me back and promised me he'd never do it again. (Please... I KNOW how stupid and foolish I am for believing all this but I really truley love him and I know parts of him love and care about me too, just not the way a spouse should)... I dont bring this up to discuss the cheating, it's just the fact that for soooo long, when we had nothing to lose by seperating, he begged for me to come back. And now.... now when we have (what feels like) Everything to lose, I'm some how not good enough for him.

Guys, I feel sooooo inadequit (sp?). Like I'm just not good enough some how.

I DO have a place to go. I can stay with my parents. And although it's not the most ideal living conditions, one little room for one mama and two girls, it's still a place to live where I wont be burdened by extreme financial obligations and can focus on school and getting independetly on my feet.

He's not happy about me going to my parents because he knows how small and cramped it will be and he knows how stressed out I can get by my folks. But I really feel like it's the most economical and logical place to go.

I will get his financial obligations in writing but I really feel like he's not going anywhere. Although he's not not home enough (imo) he does ADORE his daughter and the thought of not seeing her or having her here with him every morning is a difficult one for him.

I know I want him in our daughters lives but the thought of never really being able to "rid" myself of him scares me a little. I know part of me will always love him and I also know that for the rest of my life, I will always see him.

Guys, thank you so much for being here!!! I need you guys so much!!! My best friend is HIS sister and although I have no intention of not seeing her anymore, she just not as nurturing as you guys. She's a very strong woman and spent the first year of her sons life split from her dp, so she knows the deal... but... well you know.
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#10 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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im not in your DDC but saw your post.

first, s to you. this has to be a very difficult time. especially while pregnant. taht is never easy. i hope you have someone to support you (emotionally) through the birth that you can trust and that will be there for you no matter what.

re: child support. that obligation is for the care of your children..their shelter, clothing, food, etc. It DOES cover rent. Before you make any rash decisions, you should seriously consider the health and well-being of you and your dd's. If you go back to school, where will you study if you are living w/ your parents? Will you really be able to handle living w/ them (since you mentioned they upset you a bit).

Not trying to stick my nose where it doesnt belong, but don't handicap yourself unnecessarily. Your rent is not that expensive and if he can afford to pay it, you should seriously consider accepting while you are in school at least.

Good luck. I KNOW this is so hard to go through. I have been there (my stbx left the first time in 9/05 and our baby was born 1/06...he came back before the birth but that was actually a mistake).


rach
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#11 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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Oh, honey, I know how much you're hurting right now. I still really, really recommend counselling - you have kids together; no-one gets a free pass to walk away anymore. You knew he was cheating, and you chose to have children with him anyway; you both have to try every way possible to fix this now, for their sakes. They didn't ask for this.

I'm so glad you have somewhere to go where you have a support system - it just about killed me to think of you alone and struggling over the next few months! Don't rush into anything irreversible, though - I've heard it said that you should never make any major life decisions in the year after a birth or a death, because so much is in turmoil.

Could he just be scared about how having another baby is going to change your lives again? He sounds young and a bit immature; growing up is tough, especially if he feels alone or unsupported. Is he confortable reaching out to his family for support as well?

The other major thing is to protect yourself and your interests. Do you have joint bank accounts? Joint credit cards? Call the bank today, Monday morning if they're not open today, and see what you need to have a formal note on the accounts about the separation. You don't want to be responsible for any debt he might rack up while you're separated, especially if he is going through some kind of crisis and goes a bit nutty. Get him to put his obligations in writing, absolutely - maybe that'll make him see what divorce would really entail?

And remember, more than anything, that his relationship with you as a spouse has nothing to do with his relationship to the girls as their father. Some people are great at everything or awful at everything; some are great spouses and crummy parents, and some people are great parents and crummy spouses. You still need to coparent with him for the rest of their lives. He will always be their dad. And it will never, ever be easy for them, no matter when you split. They will always want to know what they did wrong to make daddy go away; kids are really good at thinking that everything in the world happens because of them, no matter how often they're told otherwise.

I'd also suggest checking out the forums at Surviving Infidelity. The folks there have been through everything you can think of with cheating partners - some split, some reconciled, some are working on it - and they'll have really good advice for you on whatever you end up deciding to do. There's a bunch of good articles to read there, too.
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#12 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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Everyone else has said everything I could think of- but I wanted to offer you a I teared up reading your story. Know that you are a wonderful person, your ex is the one who is unworthy. Do all you can to take care of yourself and your children, both physcially and emotionally right now- its very hard to love and care for ourselves when going through something like this- but you have to take care of that baby on the inside.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#13 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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Oh lady! I'm so sorry this is happening to you

I can't think of anything thing to say that PP's havn't already said but I just wanted to tell you that I really feel for you

The only advice I would give is to make sure you start a case at your local child support agency. I know this might sound a little wacky, but you'd actually be doing him (and certainly your girls) a favor by starting this early. I don't know NY child support law but I worked in California Child Support and I can tell you that if you were ever to fall onto hard financial times there and require any kind of assistance you would have no choice but to file a case against him to get aid. The agency would then tag him for backpay starting from the time you split up and he could end up owing megabucks to either you, the state, or both. It's all kind of complicated and I'm sure you've got a lot of other things on your mind right now, but since he's offering this would be a really good time to address the money issue amicably.

I'm so sorry you have to go through this
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#14 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 07:43 PM
 
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Hugs mama....I'm so sorry it's come to this.

I agree with a pp about seeing a therapist but I think it should be therapy to help you deal with everything that is and has been going on (I remember your earlier thread)...You are an amazing, strong, capable, caring woman and you deserve so much more than this! Don't feel bad that you gave him so many chances, or guilty for loving him, or put yourself down...but DO realize that no matter how you feel about him, he may just not be able to commit to the sort of life relationship you deserve. And that doesn't mean you should have "seen it coming", or been less forgiving, or deserve this stress in ANY WAY!!! Sometimes people get into "roles" and just keep going and going...and then something happens and they realize that that "role" really isn't them. And sometimes they just give up that role and almost seem to become someone else overnight. For your own sake and for your children, it may be better that his role as a friendly coparent and loving father start now and that neither of you try to rebuild a more intimate relationship.

One of the mamas in my dd's "month" group here at mdc went through something similar (even going back to school after being a SAHM for almost 2 years)...she found a ton of support on the single parent forum here at mdc, and she spoke with a local therpist associated with their social services department and was given a lot of help. There are resources in many communities aimed at helping mamas get back on their feet after relationships change...and some wonderful people in every community who really, truly, want to help. It can take time to find them, but ask at a women's shelter or women's community building, or visit the social services office or a Family/Children's support organization for help.

Big hugs mama...you deserve peace and joy and happiness now and in the future. You're in my thoughts...

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#15 of 54 Old 02-17-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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WhiteWax,
I'm just so sorry for you and your girls. I hope that over the next hours, days, weeks, months and years you all are able to find peace and happiness in constructing the family arrangement that works for all of you and brings you the happiness and support you deserve. As many have said, please don't hesitate to ask for whatever you need (as you all can too I am sure, I can sense the power and resources this group of women have among us), both physically and emotionally. I don't have nearly the logistical experience some others have about the concrete steps you should start taking, but I will be keeping you in my thoughts.

Liv, mama to three girls (September 2005, June 2007 and September 2010)
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#16 of 54 Old 02-18-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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Oh, WhiteWax, this is really a lot for you to deal with, especially right now. I wish you all the best with sorting out the next steps to take, and I'll be thinking of you and your girls. You really do deserve someone who'll love and respect you consistently. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this difficult time.
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#17 of 54 Old 02-18-2007, 03:05 AM
 
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I can't think of any further advice than what has been given, but I wanted to post and let you know how sorry I am you are having to deal with this now. When I finally decided to split from my emotionally abusive, borderline physically abusive, chronically cheating ex (we were married for three years and together after that for another year - I know, what an idiot, right??), I thought I couldn't survive. Literally, I felt I had a huge hole in my body that my life was leaking right out of. But, I knew it had to be done. I kicked him out, started to go out again, and only a few months later I met the man who would become my DH. A kind, wonderful, loving man who is everything I DESERVED. Even though your life seems to be ending now, you never know what is right around the corner. Sometimes crap things really do happen in order to prepare us for better things. , and feel free to pm me at any time!

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#18 of 54 Old 02-18-2007, 06:40 AM
 
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i am so sorry you are going through this now. Pregnancy is such an emotional time anyway.
I agree with the pp, therapy might really help put it is persepective and stop you beating yourself up about it.
Also afree that him paying rent is part of child support, you don't need the burden of school etc right now, maybe later but look after yourself now
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#19 of 54 Old 02-18-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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I am so sorry to hear what you are going through, I agree with the pp's, take care of your children and yourself, if he is even considering leaving you, then he is absolutely not worth the hassle, this seems hard right now, but you will come through, and this could even turn out to be a major blessing. Staying in a bad relationship could be worse on your kids than slpitting up, in other words you could be saving them a lot of heartache down the road. Good luck momma, you will survive!!

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#20 of 54 Old 02-18-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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I also think that you should take any money or payements that he is offering. You are pregnant, so it's not like you can run out and get a job any time in the near future, he needs to keep supporting you until you can get on your feet.

In my experience, things can go from civil to ugly REALLY fast. My own ex was nice to me in the beginning and offered to help me financially then suddenly he got a new GF and all of that changed and he left me with nothing at all. I'm now having to fight for my share of the business we started together (with my 401K!). It's been 3 years that we've been fighting over this.

So, take what you can get, you'll need it to care for your children. Don't feel bad about allowing him to pay rent, he would be paying it if he didn't decided to leave. I regret not taking help from my ex, I had to go on food stamps and medicaid because of it.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#21 of 54 Old 02-18-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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I am so sorry. Could his timing be any worse???


Please please please please take any and all support you can get from him. I know that the mere sight of him must be a painful combination of longing and loathing - but the best thing would be for you to retain the place you have now. If living with your parents wuld cause you even a smidgen of frustration or aggravation, you should not live with them. You have enough to deal with between grieving over losing him and nurturing your children and this new baby. You will have nothing left over to spend on a difficult living situation. YOU are the most important and cherished person right now. By taking care of yourself, you will be taking care of those who depend on you.

I thought this was an interesting link. I'm sure your DP isn't quite this intense, but from what I remember from a previous post you made, it does seem as though he has some qualities. Maybe this will help you to let go with a little less pain. I hope so.
http://www.drjoecarver.com/loser.html

Please take gentle care. Our thoughts are with you!
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#22 of 54 Old 02-18-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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BTW, how are you doing mama? I hope you have family and friends nearby to lean on for support right now.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#23 of 54 Old 02-19-2007, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys...

I don't know really how I'm doing... I seem to be getting abit more confused about everything!

I came home the other day to find a two page letter on my bed (DP was out picking up DD). And What i read pretty much infuriated me. I was mad at the things he wrote and felt like he was soooo audacious for everything he said!!!! It was alot about how I dont keep up with the house and how mad that makes him and how it makes him not want to come home. About how I "whine and complain" alot when he does finally come home (I get ticked that he works such late hours) and some other generic BS type stuff that are simply stressors and wreaking havoc on our relationship.

At first I was just so mad! I sat done and started writing a letter back to him and the gloves came off!!! I talked about dealing with his Anxiety problems and how hard that was for me and how he doesn't do the things he says he'll do and how selfish he can be.

When he got home DD was napping so he brought her in a i "read" (yelled-ish/talked loudly AT him) the letter I had written and he listened intently and seemed to get why I was so mad. We ended the fight/conversation on excellent terms and he cancelled his "night with the guys" to be with DD and me.

But you know the whole thing got me thinking... I've been so caught up in how he hasn't grown up (we had DD at 19*me*and 20 *him*) that I never stopped to think about all the aspects where I haven't grown up.

Any time we fight I'm tired of it and always seem to bring up leaving eachother.... almost like I'm not really even trying to make it all work in the first place. I dont take care of the house the way I should, and I while I still stick to the cold hard facts that He has very selfish ways and needs to help out more, I also finally realize that I'm not so blameless in all this.

I want to work things out with him... really truely try to "grow up" (in my own words) and get everything together.

I've been so gung-ho that if we're going to split that it would be better now than 6 months from now... but would it? Would it really be better for me and every one else if I left pregnant and cramped myself and kids into one room of another stressful house? I guess not... I dont know...

We've talked alot and I think we might have worked something out... he's stopped holding things in from me for fear of hurting my feelings and has agreed on some steadfast changes...

we are also looking into counseling and he is starting medication (started last night) for his sever anxiety and panic attacks.

Am I crazy????? Should I not be giving this another "go"? Am I being week for wanting to try again to work this all out? I feel different some how. I've really realized some things about myself.... what I need to do to be happy with myself and ultimatley happy in a relationship. Can we make this work? Are we foolish to still try? Feedback? either way.... no holes barred ladies, I can take it!
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#24 of 54 Old 02-20-2007, 01:52 AM
 
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I don't think that there is anything weak in wanting your relationship to change, grow, and endure. My advice is that as long as there is movement towards what you are wanting, and that he is part of that movement, then it is worth trying.

I am glad to hear that he has agreed to counseling, that he is willing to listen/HEAR you, and that you are trying not to make a rash decision. It's also great to hear you taking responsibility for your part.

The housecleaning thing is a big deal in most relationships, and I have seen a lot of disgruntled husbands really infuriated that their wife, their "housewife" wife can't even get the dishes done and dinner made so that they want to come home! If I put myself in their shoes, I'd feel exactly the same way. I can usually have the house in order and nice when he comes home, and it feels really good because he is so happy. Then our time together starts out on a good note! When he has time on the weekends, he does help out with housework, but he is home so little during the week that I realize it's my job then. (**Oh, and so much of it is about *attitude*! If I get the work done but then complain about how hard everything is when he walks in the door, he feels like I'm just hitting him with all this negativity about my life and he hates it. So it's about doing the work and enjoying it. He is at work all day so that I don't have to be, so I have to remember to be grateful for my life!) Just my perspective.

JENNY, 38~ preschool teacher, birth activist, sun worshiper, singer, married for 17 years and mom to

Karan 15, Fiona 12, Bodhi 10, Bjorn 6, Devon 3, and Robin Taylor born January 16th!

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#25 of 54 Old 02-20-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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hope things work out for you guys, talking is a good start
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#26 of 54 Old 02-20-2007, 03:21 AM
 
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its never foolish to try and make a marriage work, as long as teh 2 ppl are working toward teh same goals.

and yk, sometimes it works.

good luck. i do hope it works for you.

rach
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#27 of 54 Old 02-20-2007, 08:42 AM
 
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Oh sweetheart, I'm so glad! [mad applause] It is a HUGE step to accept some of the responsibility like you did, and to talk about it together instead of running away. I am SO proud of you! [standing ovation]

Quote:
I've been so gung-ho that if we're going to split that it would be better now than 6 months from now... but would it?
It's impossible to tell, but I don't think so. You'd be exchanging one set of stresses for another, and at least you have an idea about how to go about fixing the current ones. And not moving right now will be so much less disruptive for your DD, especially with her little sister coming!

I'm sure this is going to be tough, but I have faith that you two will find your way back to each other. You've made the first step, which is so huge! At the very, very least, if you do end up splitting up after all this, at least you'll know in your very heart of hearts that you did everything possible to make it work. You won't ever have to second-guess yourself about 'did I leave too soon.'

You were so young when you started (hah - listen to me! I was 19 when I started dating my DH, 23 when we married, but I sound like an old woman. ), it only makes sense that you'll both have a lot of growing to do, and it can be so tough when you feel yourself growing in different directions. This is gonna be tough - no two ways about it - but think about how strong you'll be together when you see what kind of storms you can weather as a team!

I'm rooting for you, babe!
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#28 of 54 Old 02-20-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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That's great news! Your whole family will be happiest if you guys can have a good marriage. I don't know what your religious affiliation is, but the book Love and Respect is a great marriage counseling book if you are Christians.
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#29 of 54 Old 02-20-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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Of course you should look within yourself and do whatever self-improvement you can. You should be doing this for YOURSELF first, and your partner second.

I hope that you guys can follow through on getting counseling, certainly as a couple, and probably individually, too, based upon the kinds of issues you've mentioned here. You will probably learn to be better parents, too, just as a side benefit!

And I'll add my two cents about housework...

I am a SAHM. I'm a great wife in the "romantic partner" sense (loving, attentive), a great parent to our son, and I do a wonderful job managing our finances and investments. (I'm so proud that, staying home, I've managed to create our tiny investment portfolio!) HOWEVER, I'm a really, really poor "housewife". I make efforts to keep on top of the stuff that matters most to DH, but I have never succeeded in keeping a really clean, organized house with more than minimal dinners on the table at the end of the day. I have pretty low physical energy, though my mental/emotional energy is pretty good. We've learned to balance this in our relationship, because, try though I might, I don't believe I could ever be excellent in this one regard. I'm simply not talented in this area.

It might be worth spending time (in therapy?) working out what your DP's priorities and expectations are regarding your "job" in the home, then balancing that with your skills and expectations for yourself.

Some solutions are simple but easy to miss--like my husband is really fine with having salad or fruit for dinner since he eats his main (hot/protein) meal at lunchtime. I was going crazy trying to cook him dinner during my most frazzled, exhausted time of day when all I needed to do was take out a bowl of something I'd washed/prepared earlier! I can't get the whole house picked up, but I can keep DH's favorite chair clear so he can plop into it upon arriving home. I've also learned that DH, like many (most?) men REALLY NEEDS about 20 minutes to decompress upon arriving home before he's ready to hear about my day. (Most women seem to want to talk immediately.) Giving him these few minutes of peace makes his whole evening better.

Good luck, and God bless you both. I really wish you and your family the best in this difficult time.

--willo
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#30 of 54 Old 02-20-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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HI,
I haven't posted before, but have been feeling for you and praying for you. In light of your update, I thought I'd recommend a few books.

First of all, a friend of mine who works a lot with people whose marriages are about to break up has often recommended a book called "Divorce Busting." He actually thinks every married couple should read it anyway, even if things are going fine (so I finally got it from the library!).

Another book I could recommend from experience is "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." I know the author, Dr. Laura, is controversial. But she really does have some good stuff in this book. I never really realized how simple it was to address my husband's needs in a way that made him feel loved and happy. Everything I've tried from that book has made an obviously positive impact on our relationship. And every little change I made really did result in a big response from him (and he didn't know I was doing it and had never read the book).

Lastly, another great book that I have seen help many relationships is "The Five Love Languages." DH and I help with marriage preparation retreats and we often mention this book.

I second the pp who lauded you for realizing your part in creating the problems. I think if you are both willing to look at yourselves and see your own part and work to improve, then you have a great chance to succeed. I know that this had had a great deal to do with the success of my marriage.

May God bless your efforts and may you have a lasting and joyful marriage.
M.
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