1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Normal to feel mixed emotions about the prospect of leaving relationship?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by LostInDaydreams, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. LostInDaydreams

    Moderator Full Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    3,247
    Likes Received:
    1,471
    Location:
    UK
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Some people
    The responses to my last thread really got me thinking about my current relationship, and my feelings are mixed. I wondered if anybody else had felt the same way?

    I've been contemplating leaving my relationship for just over a year. At first, that was mostly to do with the quality of my relationship, such as negative and critical comments regarding my appearance, weight, ability to do the housework, my parenting, my career prospects, etc. My partner also felt that because he worked and I was a stay-at-home-mum, that he shouldn't have to do anything at home, and I mean literally anything. No nappy changes, not even making a cup of tea, not picking his own clothes up off the floor, etc. I don't like the impression it gives our daughter, and my partner doesn't help by jokingly encouraging her to call me "staff" and asking her if she'd like it if I moved out. I went through a period were I felt pretty worthless, but things are much better now. There are other things from earlier in our relationship too, like he wouldn't let me tell my mum our address for the first six months that I lived with him, because he didn't want them coming over.

    In this same time, I've been questioning my sexuality and imaging myself in a relationship with a woman. At first my questioning wasn't my main concern with regards to my relationship, but recently it has been because I've been questioning more seriously. As a result, I haven't focused on all these other issues as much, but when I do, it seems obvious that I should leave. But, it's easier said than done, because we've had some great times together, have shared experiences, we have a comfortable life, and because I've raised some of the issues mentioned above, we're getting on better day-to-day. The relationship is not what I want; I want a relationship with a deep connection, affection, and sex that doesn't feel like something we just do because we're meant to.

    I look back over my relationship and I can think of times where I should have ended it, and I wonder why I didn't. Why was the relationships existence more important than its quality?

    I also feel guilty that I'm contemplating ruining any plans for the future that my partner is making, and about the impact it might have on our daughter. But on the other hand, our relationship feels so superficial, like it's all for outside appearances, and I really don't want commit to it any further.

    So, I guess my questions is; is it normal to feel mixed emotions when considering the reality of leaving a relationship? Is it normal to sometimes feel excited and happy about the prospect, at other times frightened, and at other times sad for what you're losing?
     
  2. CameOutSwinging

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York City
    I have to believe it is totally normal, as it is exactly how I am feeling as well. Even now, while I've moved out into my own apartment and mentally can think of tons of reasons why things weren't working with myself and my girl, including my sexuality but far from limited to it, I still have a hard time totally committing to severing the relationship. I have moments of feeling like it's the right choice, and feeling relieved and even excited, but then I also have the overwhelming sadness and regret and feeling like I can just undo this since it's basically in my hands.

    Ending relationships is hard.

    The real thing you have to sit down and ask yourself is where the differences lie between you and your partner, and if those differences, the ones that aren't changeable at all, logically mean you can't be together. That's a big part of why sexuality should be the largest of deal breakers. But also, somebody treating you awfully when you deserve to not be treated that way is pretty darn huge too.

    Every time I get hung up on feeling like I'm just leaving my girl to go be with men, my best friend reminds me that I should be leaving her because we just weren't good together and she didn't treat me the best. Who I date after the fact shouldn't matter.
     
  3. dirtyshirt84

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    221
    Location:
    London
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Hi NotMyName

    Sorry you are going through difficult time right now. Your husband sounds unsupportive possibly bordering on being abusive/controlling. Bringing up children is hard work and a full time job in itself. My husband helps at home despite working full time. Someone criticising your appearance, weight or ability to do anything is not something you should have to put up with.

    I can relate in that I also feel like I am missing things in my relationship, especially a deeper emotional connection. Although my husband is supportive and has made a lot of effort since I have discussed my feelings with him.

    Have you been together a long time? Do you have financial concerns about leaving and the practical aspects? Are there any family or friends who can help support you through this?

    I think its absolutely normal to have mixed emotions, the end of a relationship is never easy regardless of the circumstances, and I imagine even more so when a child is involved. I think there will always be a bit of sadness for what you are losing but also hope for a happier future.
     
  4. LostInDaydreams

    Moderator Full Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    3,247
    Likes Received:
    1,471
    Location:
    UK
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Thank you both for your replies.

    It's good to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way.

    I often feel that I want to leave, and then I think about the reality of it, and feel that I just won't be able to do it. It's easier to keep plodding along.

    I could write a post about this as a topic on its own, but I won't bore you.

    It's good that you've been able to discuss your feelings with your husband, dirtyshirt. If you don't mind me asking, how did you approach the topic? I don't think it's something that I could discuss with my partner.

    As you noted, he can be unsupportive and selfish. At the beginning of our relationship, I put a real effort into fitting in with him, I suppose, and went along with the things he liked doing, didn't give my own opinions, changed my clothing style slightly, etc. and that balance has just stuck.

    About six years. I've got some concerns, yes, but I will hopefully be returning to work soon.

    COS, it's great that you've made the jump. Really brave, I think. And your friend is completely right; important to remember that.
     
  5. rachael1954

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC
    Yes it's normal. There are pros and cons to almost anything we do in life, and leaving a comfortable relationship where you have been for YEARS is tough. The only thing you can do is weigh how the relationship is, how it fits you now, its potential for positive change vs. its inability to change. Your kids, your extended family will all factor in. Every good time and vacation you took together you will think about, as well as every fight and bad thing.

    If you are in an abusive and controlling situation, you may have trauma bonding to him. It is a terrible, real thing:
    Traumatic Bonding: How does it work?

    So if you were in a normal, loving relationship, it would be easier to leave than if you are being mistreated. It doesn't make sense, but it is somehow in our nature. The only thing stronger than love is a trauma bond, and guilt seems stronger than either. So you will have to be stronger than ever in order to leave, if that is your choice.
     
  6. dirtyshirt84

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    221
    Location:
    London
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Hi Notmyname. Sorry I just saw this just now. I told my husband I was bisexual a few months into our relationship (we have been together about 8 years now), so it's something he has always known. I also had a previous relationship with a women and I felt it was important he knew that. So bringing it up wasn't too hard, although I haven't told him about my work crush (but I think he suspects). Mostly he is supportive although as it's something I have been talking about a lot lately I think he feels a bit threatened. So we are still working our way through everything.

    I think I approached it just saying I had been thinking about it a lot recently (being bisexual), and that I wanted to be more open about it and be able to express that part of my identity.

    There is no easy way to say it I guess. Do you think he might suspect or does he have no idea?

    Also, I think things being missing and not going well in our relationship is partly what led to me having such an intense crush. So we have been trying to work on the problems in our marriage. I suggested we write a list of things we were unhappy about in the relationship - I thought it might be useful.

    Hope that helps!

    Rachel, if you don't mind me asking, what happened with your situation? Hope you are well.
     
    #6 dirtyshirt84, Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  7. kypso

    Full Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northampton
    Hi there :slight_smile:
    Yes I believe it so normal to have such mixed feelings.
    As it has been said previously, it is difficult to end any relationship, especially where there are children involved and you feel so invested. I think it also important to be true to yourself and where you know it isn't working it may be time to consider it.
    You only live once and whilst it may cause heartbreak and difficulty at the time, your happiness matters incredibly too. Your daughter needs a happy mum and for her to be with someone that treats her with the respect she deserves. I would rather my children saw that and their mum unhappy and being treated badly by their partner.
    Having said that I totally understand that it is easier said than done.
    Follow your heart, it's better qualified than your head :wink:
     
  8. rachael1954

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC
    It's ideally best to follow your heart, I will second that.

    It's just so hard if you're in a relationship and have kids and he wants you to stay forever with him and the kids, and that is his hearts desire. And you love him, but your heart is elsewhere. It's a terrible situation I don't wish on anyone, but here in LGBT later in life, many of us have this awful situation. Many view it as a bird leaving the nest or a butterfly coming from the cocoon, but there are those of us who can't easily just view it as all positive, and some of us who view it as almost all negative.

    Notmyname - If you are looking for more answers/information I encourage you to read the book " Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" by Mira Kirshenbaum. It will walk you through your current relationship and you may find that there is some overwhelming positive or negative about your current relationship that you have perhaps overlooked or not realized. This may help or may not help you leave, but if you're in the information gathering frame of mind, it may help ground you in what your current situation is.

    dirstyshirt84 - I am well, thanks.
     
  9. Teach1

    Teach1 Guest

    I find myself going back and forth of fantasizing about leaving and finding my soulmate, the guy who I have this deep connection with-romantic, emotional, physical. It is a thought that is a burning desire. Then I think of my kids and my wife, who I love, but in a way that seems more like the love of a great friend. I relate to what the OP and others have written, because they are such conflicting feelings.
     
  10. LostInDaydreams

    Moderator Full Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    3,247
    Likes Received:
    1,471
    Location:
    UK
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Thanks for all your replies.

    Dirtyshirt - Thank you for sharing. I don't think that he's got any idea!

    Racheal - Thanks for your advice and book recommendation. I've looked up some reviews, and it looks good.

    What's confusing, is that we've been getting on quite well over the last few weeks. He's been noticeably more helpful since I told him that I didn't want to get a joint account. He just assumed that we were going to get one, and that it didn't need to be discussed. When I said no, he didn't take it well. I think I know that I should leave. I don't feel that we function well together, and he can be selfish and uninterested in things that he doesn't see as important, such as my friends, volunteering that I've done, etc. He's lovely to everyone else though...confusing!
     
  11. bright skies

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    UK
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Some people
    I've been going through the same should I shouldn't I break up my family giving my 4 children a broken home and the guys heart that has loved me for 18yrs. It's comforting to see I'm not the only one.

    I switch constantly from thinking its best we part to thinking that is selfish and I shouldn't be hurting so many people for my own happiness. My added problem is I went and fell deeply in love with a woman I work with, she is gay and I am her first love.