To accept that I'm just never going to feel happy again?

(36 Posts)
MsBrunette Sun 31-Aug-14 20:46:15

I've been split up with my EX for 2 years, we have 2 DC together.

I was completely in love with him, if written down on a piece of paper who I would want as much partner it would have been him, I had PND and was extremely difficult to live (I was horrendous!) with so he left me.

Since then I have been asking him back, at first he said absolutely not, then he said that he doesn't know what will happen in the future and then he said that he has feelings for me, this is in the space of 2 years.

We see each other every week as we both take the DC's out together every weekend.

He has started to come round my house and spend time with me in the evening when the DC's are in bed, all we do is watch a film and talk we have not touched each other since the split he even stayed over and slept in my bed fully clothed as we lost track of time and it was too late for him to drive back.

He said he has feelings for me, that he doesn't want anyone else and wouldn't want anyone else but he doesn't know if he wants to be with me.

I've loved him since the day he left but eventually I accepted that he doesn't want to be with me and even though my feelings for him didn't subside I accepted it but since he said that there may be a chance for 'us' again I want nothing more than to be with him.

I don't know what to do, I used to come home and feel relaxed but because he has been here and because I'm unsure whether there is a future for us or not I am always so upset now.

He said that he would feel upset if I didn't want him to spend time with me anymore, he said that it is the only thing that he looks forward to in his life and the one thing that makes him happy but I am so upset because I want to be with him but he just says 'I'm not sure'.

I can't help how I feel, I want nothing more than to be with him and the thought of another 2 years sitting in my home wishing there could be an 'us' and him finding someone else when my feelings have developed ever stronger for him scares me as I would have to relive the devastation of losing him.

Please tell me what to do, I'm so upset.

Oh, my dear, no wonder you're so confused. He left you at your most vulnerable, and now hangs out as if you're mates and won't give you any closure. This is not good for you. He needs to make a decision - he's either in your life fully or out of it. It's obvious you can't accept just being friends and he's stringing you on - whether it's because he genuinely can't decide how he feels, whether he's just lonely and likes the company or whether he finds it easier to spend time with his DC when you're there to help. But it's not remotely good for your mental health for things to continue as they are.

So you need to ask him to make a decision and either stay, fully committed to you as a husband who loves you, or to remove himself from your life.

If he goes, yes it will hurt, but a short sharp hurt like pulling off a plaster that you will be able to get over and move on. What you have now is like a slow constant pulling at a scab that isn't being given a chance to heal.

Be kind to yourself, you'll be fine, you don't need him to make you happy.

LEMmingaround Sun 31-Aug-14 20:56:30

I had terrible pnd. I physically attacked my dp more than once. He didn't leave.

TalcumPowder Sun 31-Aug-14 20:56:47

You've posted about this before haven't you? I'll say again that you need to draw a line under this disastrous lingering mess and move on. Whatever your feelings towards him, he is behaving appallingly by playing consciously on your emotions, and holding out faint hope over a period of years -- and, what is worse, you are letting him. He knows you and what you are like, and he can't be bothered to opt in or out once and for all - be very clear on that. Whatever he says about his 'feelings', he thinks little enough of you to string you along with this kind of self-indulgent 'I'm not sure' nonsense.

People are the sum of their actions. He does not care sufficiently for you to put you out of your misery. Sorry to be brutal, but there's nothing you can do to change his behaviour, only your own, and how much you're prepared to let him walk all over you.

Stop seeing him. Hand the children over briskly and have him spend his time with them elsewhere, and do not see him without them present. All he is now is a co-parent. Stop mooning over him. You are quite right to be depressed at the prospect of another wasted two years. Nip that in the bud right now. Your relationship with him is over. You could have spent the last two years being happy without him, whether alone Irish in a new relationship. Make sure you don't make that mistake with the next two.

TalcumPowder Sun 31-Aug-14 21:01:07

Alone OR in a new relationship. Nothing to do with Irishness!

Topseyt Sun 31-Aug-14 21:06:27

It sounds as if you are both quite confused to me. Perhaps neither of you quite wants to end it.

Have you had proper treatment for your PND?

As AnnieL said, he may be stringing you along and needs to make a decision soon. However, it is also possible that he feels guilty for having left you when you were ill. That said though, as you realise, living with someone who is depressed is far from easy.

If that is the case though, the question becomes one of how long things can keep going like this. Have you told him you want him back? What was his reaction?

I hope it is resolved satisfactorily one way or the other soon, as living in limbo land is the hardest thing.

oddsocksmostly Sun 31-Aug-14 21:08:52

Would he agree to go to Relate with you do you think?

Oneeyedbloke Sun 31-Aug-14 22:39:25

He's stringing you along, OP. How can seeing you be 'the only thing that makes him happy' and yet, despite being otherwise unattached, he doesn't want to be with you?

He left you with 2 kids when you were at your lowest. PND is horrible but what was most important to him was that HE couldn't cope. That's not how it's supposed to work.

I feel so sorry for you but his behaviour sounds like classic male 'this'll do for now'-ism.

Fairylea Sun 31-Aug-14 22:46:56

I think he's stringing you along too.

I firmly believe (after two divorces and a total fuckwit boyfriend after that) that if someone wants to be with you they will make it happen - and yes maybe I did pinch that from the film "he's just not that into you". But it's so bloody true.

Watch it and embrace the emphasis on self worth - why should you wait around for him to decide if he wants you or not? You deserve someone falling over themselves to be with you.

Block, delete and remove from email and Facebook and only text if it's regarding contact for the dcs. Don't have him in your home. You are just making things worse for yourself. You're not going to be able to move on if you carry on like this.

It was only when I was able to fully draw a line under the past I was able to slowly move on and met my now dh.

If - and it's an unlikely if - he does genuinely want to be with you he will come running if you let him go. But I suspect you will be waiting a long time. I'm sorry.

MsBrunette Mon 01-Sep-14 09:06:55

I cried myself to sleep last night. I can't let him go. He is the only thing that makes me happy but he causes me so much heartbreak at the same time.

FreeSpirit89 Mon 01-Sep-14 09:11:44

If he wanted to be with you he would. He's stringing you along incase someone else comes along.

The PND was an excuse I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this but pick ya self up and move on

LiberalLibertines Mon 01-Sep-14 09:12:28

Did you have a thread about this before?

Honestly love, he's yanking your chain, giving you just enough hope to stop you moving on.

Didn't be also say he couldn't bear you to be with anyone else?

I think he's got someone else.

I'm sorry, you need to let him take the dc out on his own, stop spending time with him, and move on.

fairgame Mon 01-Sep-14 09:26:40

You have to let go.
I'm in the same position except I've been in limbo for 10 years not 2!
Do yourself a huge favour and move on because it doesn't get any easier, you end up in a twisted cycle of hope and hurt and it's not worth it.
I know exactly how you feel but if he wanted to be with you then he would be.
Let him have contact on his own, you don't need to be there. This will sound really harsh but you are not a family anymore. If he meets someone else he won't think twice about taking the kids by himself.

The whole situation is unhealthy for you both and someone to break away 1st.
Believe me letting go is painful but it's not as painful as holding on to something that isn't really there. flowers

MyGastIsFlabbered Mon 01-Sep-14 09:26:56

I had horrific PND with both my boys. The youngest is nearly 2 and I'm still struggling with MH issues. But DH hasn't left. I think that's an excuse & he's stringing you along. He doesn't want to be alone but doesn't want to be with you either. I think if he got into a relationship you wouldn't see him for dust.

Sorry if my words sound harsh. May I ask how old you are?

MsBrunette Mon 01-Sep-14 09:40:15

I'm in my early 20's.

I keep thinking 'what if in a week he wants to be with me and I've told him that I don't want to see him anymore?' And that's why I'm terrified to let him go because he seems to be the only source of happiness in my life.

MyGastIsFlabbered Mon 01-Sep-14 09:45:15

I know this is going to sound horribly patronising and it honestly isn't meant that way, but you are young, you've got plenty of time to find happiness again.

I think you sound terribly down and you should never base your happiness on someone else. Could you try doing other things that make you happy, rather than letting yourself believe you can only be happy with him?

And if you do tell him to stay away & he decides he wants to be with you 100% then you damn well make him prove it & work with you to make your relationship work.

LiberalLibertines Mon 01-Sep-14 09:46:28

That's the problem right there love, you're not finding your happiness anywhere else. Have you got any friends? Hobbies?

Trust me, if he suddenly decided he wanted to be with you, he'd tell you, regardless of what you'd said.

fairgame Mon 01-Sep-14 09:48:50

If he really wants to be with you then he will fight for you regardless of whether you tell him to stay away.
Don't waste your life in limbo, your'e young and should be having fun.

TortoiseUpATreeAgain Mon 01-Sep-14 10:00:01

You're not going to find another source of happiness while you're investing all your emotional energy in him.

Oneeyedbloke Mon 01-Sep-14 10:01:24

The only thing? Apart from your kids, right? Who need constant, reliable adults in their lives. Not to mention your need for the same. I've no idea of the detailed circumstances of your break-up, MsBrunette, I'm sure it was a terrible time, but the bottom line is, you were unwell with a serious mental condition, with young children, and he scarpered. I get the impression you blame yourself for the breakup because you were 'horrible' to live with, but you really shouldn't shoulder all the blame, you literally weren't yourself.

I'm aware that men can take a long time to grow up, I was a horribly late developer myself. So it's within the bounds of possibility that a man might behave selfishly and later on regret that; how else do we grow except by making mistakes and learning from them? He may not have been mature enough to make the distinction between the way you were with PND and the real you. But if so, HE should be begging YOU. For forgiveness, for another chance to get it right. And he's not, by the sound of things. He's hanging about your place saying you're the only thing that makes him happy but not doing anything about it.

So, as ever, the woman has to be the grown-up, and I can see you want to give him every chance to come round. So, on the assumption that he's just being emotionally idiotic, give him that chance. But it can't be on the basis of YOU forgiving HIM. He must realise - you have to make him realise - that he either commits to your partnership 100% or not at all. That means him having to grow up a lot. You and your kids deserve nothing less.

That list of qualities of your perfect partner. I don't suppose it included 'Cuts and runs on me & the kids when I'm seriously ill' or 'Tells me it's all over but then moons about the place saying he's not sure'. Tear it up - if you haven't already - and deal with what's in front of you. He needs to grow up, man up, it's never too late for that. You want a man, not a boy, right?

Fairylea Mon 01-Sep-14 10:05:12

But this isn't making you happy is it? So the idea that he's your "only source of happiness" is incorrect. Because all he is bringing you is insecurity and sadness.

It is very hard to cut off someone you love but long term it really is the best thing to do. I had someone mess me about for a long time. In the end I cut him out completely and trust me cried for many months over it but it was still the right thing to do. I truly believe you don't meet the right people for you unless you cut out the bad ones to make space.

I also think (again as another poster I don't mean to sound patronising) that in your early 20s relationships become elevated to a position where all else becomes immaterial but that isn't healthy. As you get older you realise everyone pees poos and blows their nose and love is part of having a caring relationship with someone - being "in love" is a very fleeting feeling and it is possible to experience that feeling many times in one lifetime.

I've been married 3 times and started over for the third time when I was 31. You've got loads of time yet. Tons. Break free of this loser and enjoy your 20s - the right person will come along and he isn't the right person.

Oneeyedbloke Mon 01-Sep-14 10:07:24

Duh, middle of that post should've read 'it can't be on the basis of YOU begging forgiveness from HIM'.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Sep-14 10:11:15

You're in your early twenties, that's a long old life to believe you'll never be happy again. I remember having a realisation when I was about 22 that although I was anxious because I felt "I've lived a quarter of my life" I forgot that most of that was childhood, which is really not comparable to adult life. If you look at adult life you've had a tiny tiny fraction, just 3~6 years of the 60, 70 you're likely to live out. That's nothing, it's less than 10%, barely 5%. You have so much time.

Having a person (especially a man/romantic relationship but any person) be the only source of happiness in your life is an extremely bad position to be in. I read on here years ago (when I was in a similar state of mind) that you should "never give more than half of yourself to another person" and my first reading of that sentence horrified me because I think people should be themselves in relationships. It was only once I understood what the poster actually meant, and that was this: Don't let more than half of your happiness, excitement, self worth depend on somebody else.

Yes it's okay to let somebody make you happy, that's good. But you always need to have your own sources of happiness in there too. A job, a hobby, a project, a talent. Something you're proud of. You seem to have lost yourself to him at a time when you're meant to be figuring out who you are. I know how hard that is, BTW, when you have children young and that "motherhood" encompasses everything and doesn't seem to give you time to work out who you really are but it's so important. Focus on that, rather than him, and you'll find that either he becomes less important to you or things will work themselves out, but they are never going to work out if you sit around feeling sorry for yourself mooning after him. You have to create your own life, your own self-affirmation and confidence, your future plans, things you do for only you which make you feel good. If he's right for you then he'll fit right into that further down the line, but don't plan with him in mind, plan for you and your babies. The DC can be part of it of course - yes we've let go of the idea that being a mother can be the sole part of someone's identity but it's still great to look at them and think "I did that!"

Lastly don't fall into the trap of believing that good men are hard to find. They aren't, it's just you haven't looked for very long yet. Don't hang on to him because you're worried you won't ever find anybody better. Instead this is a minimum standard. Look at some of the threads about good relationships/marriages, long marriages, healthy relationship markers, you'll find old ones if you look far enough. It is worse to marry the wrong person than to end up alone. Out of interest what kinds of things do you have on that "perfect match" list you mentioned in the OP? Are they things like music taste, looks, sense of humour etc or are they the deeper things like supportive, honest, open, kind. (I would argue he's not being particularly kind right now; it would be kinder to say yes there's a possibility or to say no there's no possibility and then stay away, not keep you in this limbo. And not terribly supportive to leave over PND although if you didn't know it was that at the time, understandable.)

I have a little niggling feeling that he doesn't really like the responsibility of being a young parent and having to deal with all of the adult stuff this brings up like having to support your life partner through some tough times, it's all got a bit much for him and unfortunately for you he has the option to bail whereas you don't. That's shitty and I'm so sorry if that is the case. But you need to decide together whether there's a future for the two of you or not, if so no problem with taking it slow (but don't wait forever), but if not you need to stop the cosy film nights and the staying over, set some boundaries so you can both move on. It's possible (and can be the best of both worlds!) to be amicable co-parents but it's not a great idea to continue this cosy limbo when neither of you seems sure about what you want.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Sep-14 10:12:23

Great post oneeye!

RonaldMcDonald Mon 01-Sep-14 10:25:31

I was post natally depressed and suffered at one time from a major depressive disorder
It is difficult for you and your partner in these circumstances.
I am so sorry to read that your relationship broke down

You are both bound to feel confused and to be unsure of how the relationship could and would be now
That is normal

I think you need to spend time trying to find things in your life that you can be happy about outside your ex partner
When you have more things going on and you gain happiness from a wider pool it will be easier for you both
It must be hard to see him as your only source of happiness for both you and him....it increases the pressure on you both

Re evaluate what made you happy before him. Think about the things you'd like to do. Make a plan.

Try to see your friends more. Get out and about. Exercise. Go to work. Study..I have no idea what interests you.
Try new things and learn new ways to be happy and content

Then you will see him as counting for 30% of your happiness. If he stays and you become a couple then maybe you'd think you were 100% happy
If he goes then you might see yourself as 30 % unhappy and 70% happy
Rather than all or nothing now.

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