FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Confused and lonely

Mum-of-three
Community Member

Hi, this is my first post I'm in my 40s, in a 20+yr relationship and have 3 great kids with my partner. Over the last two years things between me and him have been tough, really tough. Between multiple personal illnesses and an injury. A close family member attempting suicide (which resulted in multiple problems for us in the months after) and the death of a love one (within 12hrs of each other) Life has become overwhelming. Among these recent events, I am also a victim of sexual assault as a teenager and child. (My parents are not aware of these assults) With everything that has gone on in my life and the fear I have developed for my children's safety, most days its a struggle. Over the last year or so things between my partner and I have been every strained. He thought that I was cheating on him (I wasn't) he works nights, I work a few days a week. This accusation put us both under stress. As we have been together from a young age, everything I've done has always been with his guidance (and in many ways approval) I'm a person who likes to make people happy, not cause waves. In many ways he has been controlling my life, he denies this. He's never violent. 

However I have realised that I need to put myself first for once and this had not gone well. He has always been supportive of my past. Since the accusation of infidelity we have both found it hard to recover in the ways we need. I feel hurt (as does he) but I'm finding it very hard to be intimate. He has never been 1 for just cuddling and kissing just because. In his thinking sexual touching is how we should show affection. For me it isn't. 

Several times over the last year, either he has left or I have asked him to leave. However, every time, he calls me later and we talk. Then he come home. I'm weak. Over the last few months I've grown increasingly unhappy and really don't want to continue our relationship. I want him to move out and decide how to move forward with raising our kids separately. He won't leave. Says he loves me too much and doesn't want to loose the kids. So I feel stuck. I love him, I'm just not in love with him. Each time that he leaves, I'm more at peace with being on my own. I feel defeated and like things couldn't be much worse as a single parent. We rarely talk these days. He is not interested in talking about anything but us and trying to repair our relationship. But there is no small talk. Not about my day. How do I know if it's worth saving our relationship. 

3 Replies 3

Elise_Smith
Community Member

Hello. I have read your post and feel that you have already made a decision to end the relationship. If your partner has somewhere else where he can live, you need to be firm with him in asking him to move out. It may take some time for him to get it. I went through the same thing with an ex where it was difficult to get him to leave and it took some time to convince him. Him saying he loves you and doesn’t want to leave isn’t really an excuse not to leave. If you don’t love someone anymore it is very difficult to get back. Considering you have only been with him since a young age, it sounds like you don’t really know what the world is like without him. And I can assure you that discovering yourself and perhaps exploring new relationships will be amazing. If he moves out and you change your mind, perhaps you can work it out and get back together. Perhaps you won’t. It sounds like your partner isn’t really there for you how you want him to be and you need to be there for yourself. You need to be the person you want him to be. You need to stand up for yourself and give yourself the self love that you deserve. Your husband may change, he may not. But it sounds like you already know the answer. 

Elise_Smith
Community Member

life is so short. Don’t settle. Don’t let yourself be unhappy. I was with a partner for 7 years who I accepted, I thought he was okay, but I knew he wasn’t really enough for me. I left him, which was the scariest thing I ever did and I was So Happy on my own. I can’t even tell you the freedom and the contentment and just the quiet and peace I felt it was so wonderful. Then a year later I met the most incredible man and he is everything I could have wanted. Maybe you will meet someone else, maybe you don’t want to. But if you stay in a relationship where you aren’t happy, well you are guaranteed one thing; unhappiness. Life is too short for that. 

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Mum-of-three

 

I wish I was there with you, giving you the complete freedom to express all your feelings without any filter. There'd be none of that 'I can't say this and I shouldn't say that'. You could be fearless in expressing yourself, all your pain from the past and what challenges you most at present.

 

I think the people pleaser is not a problem until it starts creating problems. The people pleaser in us can definitely have a dialogue all of its own. While the sage in us may be insisting 'You shouldn't be managing this all on your own. You need to speak to someone', the people pleaser can interrupt with 'You're going to upset such and such if you express yourself to them. Don't upset them (please them). Keep it to yourself (aka suppress, suppress, suppress)'. On a set of scales, each suppression can act as a weight and if there are enough weights there comes a tipping point.

 

With each individual weight, the question could be 'What was I or have I been trying to tolerate in this case that I will/can no longer tolerate?'. Maybe 'I've been tolerating not telling my parents about my past experiences that have led me to feel so much pain. I've been tolerating my husband's advances even though I've told him many times this is upsetting to me in some ways. I've been tolerating my emotions that I've been wanting to scream and cry out of me for years' and so on. With each weight that's lifted off and examined, some sense of balance can be gained.

 

I found the ultimate test of my marriage came down to me being brave enough to be more my natural or true self. There is a natural part of me that longs to make greater sense of challenges and evolve through them, as opposed to staying in a state of challenge (which can become depressing). When forcing the people pleaser in us to take a back seat, is our partner prepared to rise to the challenges that come with evolving? Are they prepared to address uncomfortable issues that will reform the relationship (which can't remain in its current form)? Are they prepared to hear what they don't want to hear or face what they don't want to face? While my husband is basically a good guy and very supportive in some cases, he doesn't like facing what he doesn't want to face. He doesn't like feeling the uncomfortable stuff. He much prefers to feel happiness, peace and all those kinds of feelings. That can definitely pose problems in a relationship.