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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just wondering if any of you have stayed in a marriage only because you want your children to have a mother at home. I'm doing that now and it is really hard. Fortunately I have a great therapist who is going to help keep me sane, but sometimes I just feel like I'm at the end of my rope. Ironically, my dh has attachment disorder. He is so detached from me and is not working on our relationship at all. I don't expect that he will make any effort unless he thinks I am about to walk out the door, but right now I have a 4-yr-old and a 1-yr-old, and I refuse to put my baby in daycare so I can go back to work and establish financial independence.<br>
So back to my original question, has anyone gone through anything similar?
 

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I am not staying just for the kids but awhile back my DH and I were having rocky times and I almost left. My plan was to open a home daycare and then I would be home with my sons. At least were I live I could have lived off that income, especially if I got a roommate. My plan was to get another single mommy roommate to share living expenses. I don't know if you have much support, but I figured I would share my plan for being single and being home with my kids.
 

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I hope this is relevant to you. If it's not, I'm sorry for hijacking your post. My Mom openly admitted several times during my teenage years that she only stayed with my Dad because of my sister and I. She left several times a year, but always came back. She also started sharing her problems with me very young because she had no one else to talk to. From the time I was 5 I can remember sensing when they weren't yelling that something wasn't right, and wished they would get it over with. Not that you would do that to your kids, I'm not implying that at all, but I do want to say that I wished they would divorce every time they started to yell. Kids know when something is off, and again, I am in no way implying that your household is as intense as ours was (because I don't know if it is or not), but I do think that sometimes staying together for the kids is not the best idea for the kids. Again, this just comes from my own personal experience, so take what you can from it if anything at all, and I wish you and your family well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you as you try to figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh I don't mind your perspective at all! I appreciate any input and am glad you took the time to share your experience.<br><br>
Interestingly, my household is almost the opposite extreme of the household you described. We basically have a Cold War going on. We don't talk. We don't share any form of affection. We don't communicate on any meaningful level ever. My husband is basically completely detached from me. He is wonderful, open, affectionate and communicative to our girls, though. But I hate the type of marriage I am role modeling for them. So there isn't any yelling or fighting but there isn't any affection or love either. It's very sad, very depressing, and I have no idea what would be best for us all.
 

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I have never been in your shoes, but also wanted to offer the perspective of the child. After seeing how many of my friends were affected when their parents waited to divorce until they were older (in college) I was so thankful that my parents divorced so eary - in fact I don't even remeber it, nor do I remember my parents ever being a couple (I was 2 or 3 ???) The way I grew up was not perfect - but it worked, and it was just that way - and as it turns out both of my parents found new mates soon after the divorce and have been happily married (just not to each other) for many years! My friend OTOH - felt totally and completely betrayed by their parents, and many voiced their opinions that their childhood was a big lie......<br><br>
I also know that kids can sense when things are not right - and the type of intereaction between you and your DH that you describe is not good role modeling *at all*......think of how your parents relationship affected how you view relationships....would you want your daughters to live a married life like you have?????<br><br>
I think these are all big issues to discuss w/ you therapist - I would never suggest that someone get a divorce.....but at the same time, living a life that is potentially harmful for all involved is not good either.<br><br>
Your girls could still have a very close relationship with their father even if you two were no longer married.....
 

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Just chiming in as someone who hoped for my parents to divorce throughout my childhood..... the tension used to make my stomach hurt. Ugh.<br><br>
peace to you,<br>
alsoSarah
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, ladies. I appreciate the input. It validates everything I'm feeling. I know it isn't good for my very intuitive, very sensitive 4-yr-old. My sister, mom, and the children went on a trip this weekend. When we returned to my sister's house, her dh came out immediately and gave everyone lots of hugs and kisses. He was so obviously happy to see everyone and hear all about the trip. I made me almost cry because I knew when I got home it would be a very different reunion with my dh. I was right. Although he eventually came outside to see us when we drove up, he sat on the porch and let the girls come to him. There was no excitement, no joyous reunion. He didn't even help me get the bags out of the car. No hugs for me. I couldn't help but wonder if my older dd noticed the difference between her dad's behaviour and her uncle's.<br>
I'm lucky in that I have lots of support from my family. I'm lucky that I have the insurance/money for a wonderful therapist. I'm lucky in that I have marketable skills and have been able to work part-time from home. It makes me ill to think about putting my little one in any type of daycare next year when she is only 2, but it may be the lesser of 2 evils. I'm not willing to allow my girls to think this is a normal marriage. I want them to pick someone who loves them dearly and showers them with affection and support.<br>
I think I'm finally ready to make specific goals for either forcing a change or terminating this sham. Thanks, again, for your insight. Please say a small prayer for me to send me strength!
 

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I will be thinking of you. I think that your kids will see how much you love them no matter how this works out, and that's what's most important. I did always know that both my parents loved me and my sister more than anything, and that helped a lot.<br><br>
More hugs to you!
 

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I'm one of those people who wished that her parents would get divorced - oddly enough they get along pretty well now, but they were horrible to each other during my childhood.<br><br>
At the same time, I think I would have been even more unhappy in daycare. I was a very home-centered child, which of course made the tension in my home difficult to deal with, but I think being in institutional care would have shattered me. So as an adult, I am glad that my parents toughed out.
 

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I had been staying for my kids and I am about to leave. The kids can totally tell when it's fake. It is not worth it. We are happier without him around.<br><br>
It's such a tough call but I think I am doing the right thing for them in the end.<br><br>
So I am right there with you.<br><br>
Denny
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My thoughts are with you, Denny. I'm so glad you were able to figure out what was best for you all and have the courage to make that change.<br><br>
I'm not at that leaving stage yet but I imagine I will be at some point in the future. Right now it is just way too important for me to be here full time for my kids. I'm not going to allow him to force me to sacrifice these early years. If he wasn't so good to them, though, it would be much harder to stay.
 

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I agree with alsosarah! I to grew up wishing my parents would split up. I love them both. But they arent good together. My dad has his own problems and had broken my mothers spirit. Theya re still together to this day and things have only gotten worse. My dad has alot os issues that he needs to work out and he wont get help for them he was a recovering alcholic and was sober for 10 years when he has just recently started to drink again and to make things worse he sees things that arent really there or happening. He needs to see a real therpist! I think hes Skitzo. Now my mom drinks and just lives on egg shells when he is there not knowing if he is going to be happy or snap at any given second. I know this is way to much info. But this I thought that if you heard someone else who had grown up in a household wishing thier parents would not be together and the reasons it could give ya some insight. I dont think its right to stay for the children . In my case it did make me stronger as a wife and mother. But it also gave me some issues of how unstable my home life as a child was. I hope you get the answeres you need and make the right choice for you and your kids. No two choices are right for different people. Good luck!
 

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well, my parents stayed together for my sake until I was 14.<br>
They never fought, they acted like friends, never spoke badly of each other, we went on family vacations together, etc... and I am actually glad they did.<br>
I think if the parents can be friendly and respectful of eachother, and keep the home free of constant arguments, abuse, etc, then it is best for young children to have both parents in the home.<br>
I think one should leave if the mom or children are in any danger (drugs, abuse, etc), but if the parents are committed to being parents together I don't see why they can't stay for the kids. maybe this means they live together as mutual friends and see other people, or stay for the kids *and* the finances... as long as it works and provides the best situation for the kids, I think it's a good choice. I think we all know that it is ideal for young kids to ahve 2 parents in the home, it provides them w/ great security... and unfortunately this is not always possible, but when it is possible we need to think of their best interest.
 

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your situation sounds alot like my parents.. not often shouting/fighting, but I can honestly not remember a *single* time I saw them hold hands, kiss, hug, say I love you.. or anything remotely affectionate. I wish they would have divorced when I was young, instead of waiting until college. They obviously didn't love each other, why stay married?<br><br>
BUT, i am all for trying to work things out where ever possible. I wouldn't leave until i tried everything to make it work.
 

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((((hugs)))))) to you girls4me<br><br>
there was a website someone posted here b4 r/e single moms co-habitating & sharing living expenses---maybe someone know it? or you could google it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you everyone, for you kind words and insights.<br><br>
bebe luna, I think I would have felt the same way as a child. I loved being home with my mom and would have been devastated to go to daycare. I remember going with one of my friends when we were 4-yrs-old and I couldn't believe kids actually had to go there every day! I felt so sorry for them and was so thankful I had my mom to take care of me at home. My girls are both so similar to me in temperament/personality that I couldn't imagine putting them in daycare either. Fortunately dh and I can put on a good front, going on family outings, laughing together and often enjoying each other's company. But obviously it isn't ideal and not something I can see myself doing forever.<br><br>
shelley4, I totally agree that leaving is a last option that should be taken only after all other avenues have been explored. The problem I'm facing is that dh isn't willing to acknowledge that there is a problem or work on the relationship. He won't go to counselling even though I am going. He won't read any of the things I've asked him to read. He won't even discuss our marriage. So I'm running out of options.
 

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do you know about this:<br><br><a href="http://www.womensenews.org/article....context/archive" target="_blank">http://www.womensenews.org/article....context/archive</a><br><br><br>
__________________
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
trabot, I couldn't get the link to work!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Yet another voice about unhappy parents marring childhood.<br><br>
My parents never yelled or fought, but I knew something was wrong very young (5 or so at least). I remember thinking that it would be better if they fought because that would be at least "normal." There was no respect or affection shown to my Mom from my dad (NEVER saw them kiss or hold hands my entire life), and my Mom walked on eggshells hoping not to aggrevate him, an aggrevation he showed in small ways, but devestating nonetheless. We would have all been better off if they had divorced then rather than in thier fifties. They are good people, just terribly mismatched.<br><br>
I eloped because I didn't want the stress of my parents at my wedding. It made my mom cry because all she ever wanted was a close family, but her decision to stay with my Dad throughout our childhood and adolecence produced a lasting strain in my relationship with both of them, my dad especially. I remember my mom crying in the bathroom because my Dad was ignoring her over something stupid, and I remember how helpless and angry and ashamed that made me feel. I have a lot of bad memories like that, not traumatic memories or anything. But kids do sense everything.
 

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girls4me, you could be me (except I have a 7yo ds). Your dh sounds just like mine. I was ready to walk out 2 years ago, but the fact that I would have had to put my ds in school (we homeschool) and the money situation has kept me here. Some days I think I could go on for another 11 or 12 years and some days I feel like I can't take another minute of it. My dh has been holding back from me for years. During our first years together, I wanted to know everything about him - how he thought, how he felt, etc. His most common responses to me were "Don't try to understand me" and "I don't know" (when I asked him how he felt about something). I didn't realize until about 2-3 years after our ds was born that I was interpreting my dh's feelings for him for many years and that I hadn't been doing it anymore because I was so wrapped up in our ds. We have drifted farther and farther apart through the years (13 years married, so far). His relationship with our ds is pretty good, although he doesn't try to understand why our ds does things the way he does and there is absolutely no talk about feelings between them.<br><br>
Anyway, I've read some books that have helped me to begin to understand my dh (his unresponsiveness to me, his not knowing how he feels, etc.). The books are by Terrence Real: "I Don't Want To Talk About It" and "How Can I Get Through To You." Many men are like our dh's - Real believes that it's depression in most cases and that men in depression can act very differently than women in depression. Most often, it stems from their childhoods.<br><br>
I am a cockeyed optimist and believe that I will find a way to get through to my dh. I do know that he needs some serious counseling, but so far he doesn't believe that it's necessary. I feel that I would benefit from counseling and hope to get into it soon.<br><br>
Good luck to you.<br><br>
Debbie<br>
(occasional lurker, very occasional poster)
 
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