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I live in hell.

  • 12-10-2022 12:01pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2 launch_racer

    I am in a relationship with my partner (almost 30 years), with 4 kids (2 teenagers and 2 younger). My partner is unbearable at times. In some cases asking the most routine question can elicit a what I would describe a complete over reaction. One of my kids has a mental health issue and is being treated and the other is undergoing cancer treatment having just in the past months had a serious operation to remove the said cancer. My life is not hell because the kids are sick but because my partner is unbearable. I’m need someone to talk to about this and have talked to councillors before but found them useless. Where can I go from here?

    Post edited by HildaOgdenx on


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,048 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Have you tried counselling together? Your issues can't be fixed by only one party to the relationship.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 launch_racer

    Should have mentioned this in the last post. We tried counselling, a couple of different counsellors. Both were useless and to a point patronising. We gave up after that. They weren’t in-expensive. We both were willing to give it a go but we keep coming around to the same situation … not speaking now it’s just anything will set my partner off. It’s torture walking around in egg shells and is not at all healthy for our kids.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,471 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    I'd say you are both burned out considering the health issues with the kids, being together 30 years, etc etc

    In a similar situation.

    Just living from day to day, walking on egg shells, can't think of a future ... burned out ... but we are still bearable to each other.

    We need time away together and time away separately to just refocus, but there are pressing day to day family health issues to sort out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,238 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    Its clear enough that there is a deep and ever present stress within the relationship now, one that there will be no coming back from.

    Sometimes there doesn't have to be a betrayal to wreck a relationship. Sometimes simply boredom and the familiarity of contempt is enough.

    Your children's illnesses are a terrible thing and my heart goes out to you fighting on so many fronts. And thats why I say to this:

    You should walk up to your partner and say, 'I think we should end our relationship immediately and focus on helping the kids as separated parents, what do you think?'

    My guess is that his relief will be palpable and that he will fairly quickly accept. My guess is that he has remained with you only because the children are ill. I believe he feels an obligation but that he is very resentful. I'm not judging, its a human emotion, you feel like you're in hell, he probably does too.

    Once you separate, it'll be one less omnipresent issue to deal with and hopefully one pillar of your hell removed. Yes, it will bring about other challenges that come with the end of a long relationship and a shared home, but nothing is as bad as living in the pressure cooker that you are in now. And I daresay it will become easier to work together on the children's welfare, once that relationship pressure is removed for good. And the children will benefit from that too.

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  • Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭ Dallas Immense Ambassador

    As a father who had a child with cancer I can tell you he is probably angry at the world. And I can also guarantee you have massive blind spots that you don't see too.

    Get into counselling asap - but you will need a really good counsellor. This isn't an ordinary relationship issue. And don't make any big decisions now that you will regret later.

    We came out the other side - but it was really tough. I had to drag my wife to counselling by saying it's either this or divorce. Best thing we ever did - getting her to acknowledge there was actually a problem and it was on both sides, and down to how we both handled it in different ways was a big breakthrough for both of us.

    I also find it interesting you mention the kid with the mental health issue first and the kid with cancer second. And the fact that your partner (and you yourself OP) have mental health issues, yet you may not realise this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,524 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    "I can't talk to my partner, any little thing I say sets him off into a huge overreaction"

    "Have you tried talking to him?"


    Forget the conversation OP, its time for a proclamation.

    "Every time I try to speak you blow up in my face, we need to end this."

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,155 ✭✭✭mattser

    Does the OP specify whether it is the male or female of the relationship, or are people here just assuming it's the latter ?

  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite

    Have you spoken to any support groups for cancer? Irish Cancer Society?

    My first thought is that a couple trying to navigate a child with cancer plus the normal crap that can wobble a marriage probably needs more specialised counselling than your average Relate crowd.

    They offer counselling for the familes and parents of children with cancer. I imagine they deal with lots of families who's life has imploded with a diagnosis.

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  • Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭ Dallas Immense Ambassador

    I was guilty of that. This kind of thing isn't gendered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,368 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12

    It sounds like your partner is stressed out of their mind worrying and taking care of two sick children while trying to keep the other two well kids living with some sense of normality. I can only imagine the depression and stress they must be dealing with. Its sometimes the case that people who are depressed will take it out on those around them.

    I wouldnt be jumping to ending the relationship as others mentioned. This is a stressful time and what youre going through right now is real life stuff! i dont think throwing in the towel when things get tough is the way to go about it, instead it might be worth considering being considerate and supportive of each other through this very difficult time.

    So instead of "Every time I try to speak you blow up in my face, we need to end this." Maybe try - "Every time I try to speak you blow up in my face, we need to sort this out."

This discussion has been closed.