Taking it back to the beginning

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2004
Taking it back to the beginning
21
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 3:37pm

I have a question. I intend to go to a counselor and seek their advice on this but also need yours. My partner and I have been living together for 6 years. We bought a house 3 years ago. I have two teenage children, one preparing to leave school after final exams. I have been having difficulty with this relationship for years! I need to breath again, I really want to sell the house and we divide out what we put in financially (I have a Co-Habitation agreement in place for that for protection for both of us) and we live apart where I rent with my children and he rents something himself and we see each other a couple of times a week, like dating. I want this to happen and I want this to work. But I cannot live with him while I have my children. He never talks to them, never asks about their day, has said he never wants to sit at the same table as them ever for dinner, (because they talk more loudly than he likes. My two teenagers get on, so this happens, they talk!) lots of other stuff. They stay in their bedrooms when he is home and it's a small house and that's the only place they can be away from him.

I know I am biased but my children are nothing but polite to him. Have never raised their voice, never questioned him. An example, a couple of years ago my teenage son had 5 teeth removed under general in preparation for bracework. I brought him home with his head and mouth bandaged, poor baby and although my partner asked me how he was, the next day and after he never once asked my son directly "hey, how are you? You must be in pain" He says hello and goodnight to them. That's it. They never come out when he is home because he ignores them. If they do come out to see me for something, he turns the volume of the TV up. He never asks them about achievements and he knows from me what they do. I just don't tell him anything anymore. His biggest bugbear with them, and he sat me down and told me this was that my teenage daughter didn't like butter on her bread or wasn't really particular to vegetables. .....????? He said that would affect her social status once she started going to university. Sigh. He is that petty. Sorry this is long.

They are good students and I get on extremely well with them. They don't like him, they resent him making me unhappy but are still polite. Ok, while I am writing this I can see that I do need to move out. I don't want to totally break the relationship at this stage but I really want my children to be with me while they are still at home. I want some time with them by myself. I know some might be thinking do we gang up on him? No. He only sees his children once a week, they don't visit and I know that hurts him. But, to be a polite, social human being he could still even pretend to be interested. He told me once that he can't see the point in talking to them if he has nothing to say. He doesn't like chit chat.

I am getting more and more angry while I'm writing this. He doesn't see that he does anything wrong. He leads this bachelor life where he goes out twice a week with mates, he just bought himself a brand new $36,000 car and is going away on a sailing holiday for a week next month. I work two jobs and am studying part-time and do everything for him at home.

I see what I need to do but I just wanted to know if anyone out there has split and dated and started from scratch.

Thank you so much for any replies. This board is very helpful to a lot of people I can see that when I read the posts and have read them for quite some time. Thanks.

Jennifer.

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Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 5:23pm

Well, obviously we can't tell you what you should do, however here are my thoughts.


For arguments sake, lets give this guy the benefit of doubt.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2004
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 5:57pm

Hi Serenity, Thanks for the response. I haven't talked to him about moving out as yet. But I have spoken to him for years about his lack of communication with my children and he will just look at me, turn around and walk off. If I have anything to say to him about anything, whether it's done calmly or whether I'm angry his reaction is the same. Just turns around and walks off. It's very frustrating. I get no response. I know you can't tell me what to do, I understand, I just need a sounding board at this stage. I don't see any of my friends anymore because I feel silly now that I have moved in and bought a house with a man like this. I don't want to talk ad nauseum about this to them plus having the two jobs and studying takes a lot of my time but having said that, I make time for him everyday at the expense of my kids.

It's a decision I have to come to by myself. I can't accept this behaviour from him any longer because it's stressing my kids out and me. I think I just want a breather and we can get back to just dating again. Then I can go to his place and he can cook me dinner and clean up! :) I know he won't be happy but I do believe that he might come to enjoy that time as well. I do have an issue with his whole attitude with my children. And don't get me started on how he behaves with the dog. Everytime the dog is asleep on his beanbag, he'll throw something at him to wake him up. Or pull his leg or something. Just for fun. :( Now I'm getting into whingeing territory and I'm trying not to.

I guess I have come to that decision to do this for my sanity. I can't sleep because he snores all night and I have to sleep on the lounge which is killing my back because it's a tiny house and there is nowhere else to sleep. This has been happening for the last three years and he's says he can't do anything about that. I constantly get up at 4am or 3am because his snoring wakes me up and I can't get back to sleep with that noise next to me, so I just work on my business at home on the computer and then I go into my part-time work so I'm a little frazzled. I now have high blood pressure so the doctor said last week which I have never had and it is something that my mother died of due to complications of kidney and high blood pressure when she was 39. So I am a little worried. I'm anxious living here, heart palpatations and such because as soon as he's home, my kids scurry to their rooms. If they're out here with me, he'll go into our bedroom until they're gone.

Sorry, his side of the story? His excuse is he has "Asberger's Syndrome" (sp?) and that's why he can't communicate. I just don't understand why when my kids say Hi he can't then ask how their day was. Even pretend to care. Even if I did suggest a break now and he said he would make an effort to talk to the kids I would know it's just going to be because I've given him an ultimatum.

Yes, I have made up my mind. But thanks for listening anyway because as I have written these last two messages, I haven't spoken to anyone about this, it's been kind of cathartic to know that I've put it out there even if some people might think I'm crazy. Yep, crazy through lack of sleep for the last 3 years! I don't know if he wants me for a life partner, he says he does but I just think he's too scared to be by himself and that I have put the lion's share of deposit on the house and if I walk, he won't have much. All my money is in the house and I have hardly any to live on but all his money is there for him to spend. And I don't ask for any help either regarding money. He does work hard, I do look after him when he gets home, I have only ever asked that one thing about communicating but he refuses.

Ok, Thanks.

Jennifer

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2008
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 6:31pm

I dont know both sides of the story, I dont know you or your SO so I cant tell you much of anything other than what I would do in your place with the given info.


I'd drop him like a hot potato.


I would want nothing to do with a man that treated the beautiful children I created, children that are part of me, with such disdain.


I have a son...he is part of me and

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Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 7:08pm

If your intuition is telling you

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2004
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 7:10pm

Haha! Yep. That's exactly how I think but I'm trying to speak here with some empathy for him. Me, I absolutely adore my children, they cause me no trouble and they speak their mind with me but still do anything I ask and I would do anything for them which is why I have brought this up. I don't want them living here then leaving home once they're ready thinking "well that was cr*p." I think this whole situation has made us bond even more and perhaps he sees that and resents it. He was ok in the beginning with them but as time has gone on he says more picky things to me about them, tiny little inconsequential things. I say I will address it with them and they do as I say. I don't know whether he wants to control everything because apparently in his last marriage he was told what to do and did it. He never went out with friends because it was forbidden.

But I'm kinda tired of it. The few times I've been out with him and his friends from work I get the finger tap on my hand under the table if he thinks I'm talking too much. He's done that when I've been asking the builders a question when we had some paving done. He did that at a winery we went to when I was asking about the vines (cos I dont know anything about wine). He has all these little rules which we have to abide by. I can't cook chicken schnitzel when he's home because the oil burns his eyes, when I sneeze it hurts his head, sometimes I talk too loud, don't mute the TV becuase the little mute icon on the bottom of the screen annoys him. It goes on. Which is why I just want to get out and live with my kids in peace. If I bring up what he says as being petty he turns around, walks away and sulks and doesn't say anything. He did actually say this morning why can't I accept him as he is. I did bring up the fact that he says nothing to me so I don't know what he's thinking or how we can make things better.

I don't want to dump him just now, I want to see if I can like him again (yes, like) if we "date" and live in separate environments. I really don't think he could cope very well if I dumped him outright.

Because I'm in Australia I have to go to work now so due to our timezones, I can't read anything on this until I get back home by which time you guys may be in bed! :) So I'm not ignoring any further responses.

Thankyou so much. I'm trying not come across as complaining but it's hard to set out a life together in a few sentences. I'm unhappy, he's unhappy, I want to be happy again.

Jennifer

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2004
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 7:20pm

Hi Serenity,

Yes, I didn't listen to my intuition in my last marriage (well first marriage) and ended up divorced. I can visualise my leaving and it just makes me happy to think about it. I can't please everyone but I can try to compromise and he just has to come to the table on this or it will disappear. My kids are all for it but are careful to say that it has to be my decision and not to do it for them. They don't want to see me making the wrong decision but I know it is the right one.

I never tried to make us a family unit but gently tried to get everyone together as a community and trying to balance everything for everyone to feel comfortable. Why is it always the women doing the work? :)

Still, he never really tried. He's known my children for 6 years now. I guess it will never change.

Jennifer

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 7:37pm

He did actually say this morning why can't I accept him as he is.


That is the ironic part of all of this.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-25-2004
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 7:53pm

Huh! That is true! I know he is what he is, he doesn't want to change or try to do things differently because that's who he is and really, people don't change from their inherent personality if they see no flaw. He is not a bad man. But he is an arrogant man and I can't live with that. Not when he refuses to speak to the Chinese man with broken English who I purchased my daughter's computer from and it needed tweaking and I don't know what I'm talking about because my partner is the computer expert working in that field. He didn't want to speak with him because the guy couldn't speak fluent English so it was resolved by email. I can't stomach that attitude. Or when in the beginning he asked that I not be on the phone to my friends when he arrived home from work because he liked my full attention. Anyway, I'm complaining again.

No, I don't feel like a bad person but I do want to compromise to the point where we don't burn our bridges and we try to start something again. It may not happen, it may not progress, it may fail but it needs to be tried.

Jennifer

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 8:24pm

If he actually has Asperger's syndrome, he probably is not capable of changing. I don't know that much about it. I do have a friend whose DD has it--she's about 14 & my friend pulled her out of regular school to be home schooled because she was being bullied. We went to a pro baseball game together and if I didn't know she had A.s. I wouldn't really have been able to tell she was that different, but I would have thought she was kind of rude & immature for her age. She complained the whole time and wanted to go home before we even got there and she doesn't really commuicate that well. I met her 18 yr old sister another time & that girl was very friendly. Maybe you could do some research in that area.

I did have kind of a similar situation w/ my 2nd DH. When we moved in together, my DD was 13, his DD was 12 and my DS was 5. He liked my DS & my DS liked him at first--he was at that age where they could just play together. My DD & my ex never got along--she didn't like him too much & I think that irritated him a lot & he became very picky about every little thing she did. It would happen that all 3 kids would go & watch TV in their separate rooms after dinner because he wanted to take over the TV in the living room and no one wanted to irritate him. It was all a very tense situation. It finally took me 6 yrs to decide to divorce him & move out & my kids (and I) are a lot happier. I was going to therapy and I mentioned how when we weren't around the kids & doing something fun, whether it ws vacation or a day trip, going to a museum or something, then we got along very well, but it was the daily grind kind of thing that upset him. So she said that even if we split up we could do things together even go on vacation. So it's been 2 yrs now (one yr since the divorce was final). At first we would talk on the phone at least once a week & get together for dinner and he was always nice to me. But as time has gone on, I just don't feel like being w/ him any more. He still complains about the same things he always complained about, he complains about what his DD is doing, etc. I just don't feel like hearing about it any more. But when we separated he actually said to me that maybe we could get back together after the kids grew up. I told him no, it would never happen.

But you never know, if you move out it might be possible that you could enjoy getting together once in a while. Or you could find out that you're happier w/o him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2008
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 10:45pm
I agree with Music, Asperger's is a pretty tough social/emotional affliction, I would do a bit of research on it, b/c at least that would give you some validation about the kinds of behaviors you're seeing...However, with that being said, I think you need to decide if that is something you want to live with for the long haul...

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