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Thread: Having second thoughts about separation

  1. #1

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    Having second thoughts about separation

    Iím having second thoughts about my separation with my husband of 11 years but Iím afraid itís for the wrong reasons and Iím just going to end up hurting him worse in the long run.

    So my husband and I got married very young after only dating for a short time. We have been together a total of 11 years. Both of us stayed in college and I went to pharmacy school and we both ended up with our degrees. Iím a pharmacist and make good money and he is an engineer but has struggled for years to find a job with his degree (we live in a small town with very few opportunities). He eventually settled for a job, not even using his degree. The pay isnít very good but we both agreed I made enough and we werenít willing to leave the area due to our families both living here and his parents having some health problems. We always said maybe in the future we would leave this area and go somewhere that we could do better.

    Everything was fine between us even though he kind of struggled with the fact that I made more money than him. Then 8 months ago I had our twins. Things were super stressful after that and the tension between us only got worse. I knew financially I couldnít be off work for long after having them but I also didnít want to put my 8 week old babies at the time in a daycare. We made the decision he would stay home with them and I would go back to work. This caused some resentment to build up because I felt like I should be getting this time with them instead of working 10 hours a day and missing out on so many firsts.

    He did an amazing job keeping the house clean, the babies taken care of and even had dinner cooked most nights. I just couldnít get over there feeling that I should be the one home with my babies while he worked and supported me. Maybe I was selfish or wrong to think that way but it caused a lot of fights between us. Finally I told him I wanted him to leave. I understand this doesnít solve the issue of me not getting to stay home with our children but the arguing had gotten to a point that I dreaded coming home to him. Financially I didnít need him and mentally I was just done with feeling the way I was starting to feel towards him.

    We decided that he would go stay with his mom and we made an arrangement on who would have the kids what days. This happened last Saturday and I kept the kids up until this morning( which forced me into taking them to a daycare while I worked). He picked them up this morning and Iím a complete wreck right now.

    I donít like being away from my kids and theyíve never spent a night away from me in 8 months. Theyíre in a daycare now which is something I said I wouldnít do until they were older even though they have a dad that loves them that could be with them but I just had to ruin that because I hate how the whole situation makes me feel.

    I know if I take him back and let things go back to the way they were the resentment will come back and I canít help how I feel about it. Itís never been an issue to me that I made more money but I canít get past the fact that he can stay home with them and I canít because I have no choice now than to support us. I honestly have no idea what to do because this has been the hardest week of my life. Twins are hard. Working 50 hours a week while trying to take care of twins is HARD. But most of all being without them this weekend is the hardest thing Iíve ever done. Not only that but all of the feelings about my failing marriage are hitting me hard for the first time tonight. Iíve been so wrapped up in taking care of them that I didnít even stop to think about me and how Iím losing the person Iíve loved for 11 years right now and it seems to be all my fault (he was definitely not wanting to separate).

    Someone just tell me if my feelings are even valid right now. Should I just let him come home and try to work through my resentment or am I doing the right thing? I never wanted my children to grow up being pulled back and forth from place to place but I canít just resolve things just for them and secretly be unhappy forever.

  2. #2
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    If you are going to resent him then don't even think about getting back together.

    Did you not discuss and agree on things before the birth of the kids?

    If my partner earnt more than me then it would make sense for them to work after they had recovered from giving birth of course after time. The family unit comes first.

    Did he rush you back into work or did you rush yourself back into work after labour? If he made you go back to work before you were physically ready I can understand but if you made the choice yourself I'm confused as to what the problem is.

    The majority of the time it's the father who works long hours and misses out on all the special moments and its a sacrifice they make voluntarily. I've never heard one of my male friends "resenting" their partners for looking after their kid while they miss out. The breadwinner and homemaker/keeper are equally valid and important surely.

    Coild you not go part time at work or reduce hours so yuo can be at home more?

    Are you sure you love this man? You sound quite cold to him. You dont need him financially and are mentally done with him in your own words. Together for 11 years but quick to dump him for caring for his children and being a good dad. Somethings not adding up.

    Never take him back for the sake of it. Unhappy parents destroy children's lives. He also deserves to be happy and loved which is not the vibe I am getting from you.

    I really don't know what else to say. Most families go through this and dont break up over it. My sister has twins so I know it's hard but she didn't dump their father.

    Are you sure you didn't want to break up with him before this?

  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by Lost1984
    Iím a pharmacist and make good money and he is an engineer but has struggled for years to find a job with his degree (we live in a small town with very few opportunities). He eventually settled for a job, not even using his degree. The pay isnít very good but we both agreed I made enough and we werenít willing to leave the area due to our families both living here and his parents having some health problems. We always said maybe in the future we would leave this area and go somewhere that we could do better.

    We decided that he would go stay with his mom and we made an arrangement on who would have the kids what days. This happened last Saturday and I kept the kids up until this morning( which forced me into taking them to a daycare while I worked). He picked them up this morning and Iím a complete wreck right now.

    I canít get past the fact that he can stay home with them and I canít because I have no choice now than to support us.

    Twins are hard. Working 50 hours a week while trying to take care of twins is HARD. But most of all being without them this weekend is the hardest thing Iíve ever done.

    Someone just tell me if my feelings are even valid right now. Should I just let him come home and try to work through my resentment or am I doing the right thing? I never wanted my children to grow up being pulled back and forth from place to place but I canít just resolve things just for them and secretly be unhappy forever.
    Your husband is clearly family oriented .
    He sacrificed his career for a family life in the area he grew up in. Apparently partly due to his parents health but it sounds like his mum is alive and kicking and able to accomodate him and his twins.
    While taking that sacrifice it also enabled your career to flourish.
    He might have been better off leaving the area to pursue his career and you follow had you told him how much you would resent him for you having to go to back to work.

    Itís a little too late to now tell him you donít think you should be the main bread winner.
    I feel so sorry for your husband. He has sacrificed so much for family and now you decide you donít like his decision.

    Working 50 hrs a week while looking after twins is hard?
    Have you not considered your husbands perspective at all??
    Those 50 hrs a week you work , he is also working ! And seemingly doing an awesome job at it too!!!

    In every household there will be one parent staying at home and one going to work until kids are put into care of family or childcare.
    And yes it is usually the main bread winner that goes back to work.
    You claim now that you were ok being the higher earner, but you should have thought about that before getting pregnant.
    All of a sudden , the sacrifices your husband made that you agreed to , you are now leaving him for? How is that fair?

    And now that you have left him after having kids , he canít as a single man pursue his career because he has to stay local for his kids and the kind of man he is , he will.
    If you were to remain together , you could as a family move and he could pursue his career.

  4. #4
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    Spot on. I really feel for the OP husband here.

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  6. #5
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    I am truly baffled. What conversations did you have before you got pregnant or even if the pregnancy was a surprise, during the months you were pregnant about how you would manage the childcare of twins? (or one child since I assume the twins were a surprise). You've known for years you're the primary breadwinner. You can do math and know that that means it makes more sense, if someone has to work, for you to work outside the home. You had years to end the marriage if this income disparity bothered you this much, especially if there was a point in time when you started planning for a family.

    A small anecdote - my husband and I were long distance when I was pregnant. We'd talked about lots of the logistics but when I was 8 months pregnant he told me that he would be able to be in my city with me and the baby for 2 weeks but then he'd have to travel to his city every week for 2-3 days. Meaning I'd be all alone with a newborn (no I had no family to help overnight or even for long periods of time during the day). He said I could hire help if needed but I chose not to. I cried when he told me and felt so overwhelmed and frightened. In public at a casual restaurant I loved. He was surprised that I didn't know this but I hadn't, not the magnitude of it.

    You know what - when it came to pass, I survived. I did not resent him because I knew I'd signed up for marriage to a guy whose career required a lot of travel and signed up to relocate to his city. Yes sometimes I feel resentful about all his travel but I have to remind myself 'you signed up for this" (our son is 10 now). And so do you. You signed up for this. Marriage is so much about that at least to me -self-talk when those pesky unfair feelings come up so that it doesn't escalate into taking it out on your partner. Also a lot of communication is needed so you get what it's like to be the full time parent at home. My husband came home once from a business trip with jet lag and a headache. I wanted him to take over the infant care ASAP as after 5 days I was exhausted. Instead he had a headache and then proceeded to throw up then go to sleep. Unfair of me to "resent" him but sleep deprivation and infant care can make you feel that way. So I had to adjust my expectations from then on, understand that he often cannot just jump in as soon as he walks through the door. Marriage is like that -a work in progress because numerous situations come up like this and you have to have solid communication skills even if you're exhausted, have a headache, etc.

    Yes, having a child typically means one or both parents have to work outside the home. Someone is going to miss the firsts. One of my friends has 3 kids including 2 kids under 5 and her husband is home. Same reason. She appreciates him to the ends of the earth as much as I can tell. Your husband is doing a really hard job. He is providing for the family -you know how much daycare of twins would cost??

    I just glanced at other posts -sorry if I was repetitive.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Can friends and family help out more? Let him go back to work.
    Originally Posted by Lost1984
    Then 8 months ago I had our twins. Things were super stressful after that and the tension between us only got worse. I knew financially I couldnít be off work for long after having them but I also didnít want to put my 8 week old babies at the time in a daycare. We made the decision he would stay home with them and I would go back to work. This caused some resentment to build up because I felt like I should be getting this time with them instead of working 10 hours a day and missing out on so many firsts.

  8. #7
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    If ever there was a thread where marriage counseling would help - I think this one is it.

    I get it. Sometimes feelings are overwhelming and arenít particularly logical. You are struggling with gender roles within the relationship.

    Your husband doesnít sound like a bad guy. He was simply doing what you both agreed to and was believing you when you were saying you were ok with it. Now youíve discovered you are not ok with it.

    I honestly feel that exploring your feelings with a therapist could help save your marriage. There is probably multiple ways that this could be resolved that you can both work at - and it sounds like he is open to working on it.

    Your feelings are what they are. I donít think you should try to invalidate them or push them under the rug - they need to be dealt with appropriately. But I do think therapy would be a huge benefit in this case.

  9. #8
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    I do understand how you feel and no doubt you really are struggling. However your feelings of resentment seem to be largely coming from the fact that you believe in rigid gender roles. It used to be that the man (and still is now) works full-time and hardly sees the kids. Everyone was OK with this and didn't really consider how the men felt, working all the time and hardly seeing their family. Times have changed though and just being a woman doesn't mean you have to be a stay at home Mum. You could have tried to come to an arrangement with your husband where perhaps you both work part-time and look after the babies half the time each. However this arrangement should be based on mutual respect and compromise and not on a premise of "I'm male, you're female". Your genders don't entitle either you or him to anything. It has to be an actual agreement between you as a couple how to raise the children.

  10. #9

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    To clear up some of the questions that were asked:

    The twins were a complete surprise to us. I was on birth control so it was completely unexpected. We always said we eventually wanted kids but we also wanted to move out of the area first so that this was never an issue. His parents were both a lot older than mine and his father actually passed away right before I got pregnant so there was no way he was leaving his mom once we did find out I was pregnant. When we first discovered the pregnancy we were only planning for one baby. His job would have been enough to scrape by if we cut down on things and the plan was Iíd have the first year at home but things would likely be very tight. As a pharmacist I have the option to do relief work where I can easily make around 500 a day so I thought if it ever got hard Iíd step in on the weekend when he was home and do that. When we found out it was twins we still tried to do it this way but after 2 months even with relief work we were struggling financially. So the decision for me to go back wasnít even made until I had spent the entire pregnancy and first 8 weeks with the babies thinking this is how it was going to go.

    The decision was mutual but I also felt pressured into it seeing how stressed he was trying to work longer hours just to get by. I knew I pretty much had no choice. Heís a good person and a good father and I know see down that whatís fair for me is fair for him. He deserves the chance to be home with them as much as I do. I know my feelings are irrational but that doesnít stop me from feeling them. We went from a happy married couple straight to just being parents. We focused all of our time and energy on the babies and I understand thatís probably what put a stress on the relationship. I guess it comes down to me being jealous honesty that he gets all this time with them while I have to work even though that was never the plan. At least for the first year. I also know theyíre 8 months old now so that year is almost up and we had discussed they would be put in daycare then. Maybe if I hold out I wonít feel so resentful once weíre both working again. But then I feel horrible and selfish that I feel that way. Theyíre getting to stay home with a parent that loves them right now and here I am counting down the days until they donít have that anymore just because I think it will help my marriage.

    We talked this morning and we made an agreement to go to marriage counseling. I think this is the best option for us. I know Iím not being fair to him. I just canít help how I feel and for a long time I tried to blame the hormones but itís time to deal with this. Him being gone this week has allowed me to step back and really look at the situation differently and not be so caught up in how I was feeling.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member LC8328's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Billie28
    Have you not considered your husbands perspective at all??
    Those 50 hrs a week you work , he is also working ! And seemingly doing an awesome job at it too!!!
    Yep, I agree with this.

    I'd like to add that I'm happy you two have decided to go to counseling.

    Now I have a question, and I'm sorry if it's too simplistic or insensitive. Do you think you might have some post-partum depression? I know someone who had it for a very long time after her first child was born. It could explain some of your amplified reactions and feelings.

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