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Getting back together after separation

(14 Posts)
clairedins Tue 05-Jul-11 08:32:33

Hi there

I've recently joined mumsnet and was after some advice regarding getting back together with my husband after an 18 month separation. Has anyone experienced it and is it working?

To cut a very long story short....at the end of 2007 my husband had a breakdown, he was hospitalised on and off for 6 months. During this time he was sectioned twice under the Mental Health Act and was diagnosed with Bipolar (manic depression), it took a while for the doctors to get his medication right and he would have, 'manic', phases, he was either really hyper or really low, during his, 'highs', he would gamble our savings, sleep with escorts and buy expensive, designer clothes, during his, 'low', phases he would be suicidal. In June 2008 we decided to try again, I became pregnant and we now have two boys 6 & 2. Our second son was born in May 2009. Before my husband had his breakdown he became almost an internet addict and was very secretive, we didn't used to go out and I became very frustrated with how our lives were heading. After our second son was born he reverted to this and didn't have any interests or enthusiasm for life. I asked him to move out in January 2010. During the last 6 months we have been talking a lot more about our relationship, where we feel we both went wrong and what we would do differently if we were to get back together. We both agree on all points and the boys would be over the moon if we were to get back together. I had a brief 4 month relationship while we were apart and he had 4 one night stands. I know we shouldn't get back for the sake of the children, and we would have counselling I think initially to keep us on track. I want to get the spark back. To do things together as a family again. I had booked to go on holiday with the boys in 3 weeks time and I suggested him coming with us to see how it goes?

Has anyone separated, got back together and it has worked out?

Any advice would be greatly received!!

Hunterswish Tue 05-Jul-11 20:01:32

I have !!! I split in 2002 and divorced 2003, he was in a relationship, I stayed single, I got back in touch in 2005 after I had an illness and we started seeing how things went all through 2006 until he moved in Sept 2007, we have been together ever since. We now have another 2 DC and new baby due in September smile
It has not been easy, we have both had our doubts and it has been really hard. In my case to let go of the fact that he set up home with O/W..yet he wants us to get married again 13th August in fact !
This time around we have been honest and we have admitted our faults, DP lost his dad in 2009 which in my eyes has helped our relationship a lot as I found DP father had too much influence over our relationship and of course he loved the O/W too sad
No-one understood why we had done, it got back together and everyone who knew me were taken back, as they thought I was over him..there was something that just didn't sit right with me about us being apart and I guess when given the chance I took it with both hands !
Only you know your relationship, only you two have your history.The holiday sounds like a great idea and a good way to see how you all get on again smile
Wish you the very best of luck smile

Onemorning Tue 05-Jul-11 21:28:36

I don't have any advice or experience, I just wanted to wish you the best of luck.

DariusVassell Wed 06-Jul-11 09:05:44

I wonder how much of his behaviour you are attributing to his bi-polar disorder - and how much is part of his character, personality and values?

I noticed you said he used prostitutes while married to you and that he had 4 one night stands in your time apart. So this is someone who is attracted to having sex with lots of new, different people and also thinks that he can buy women.

Is that the sort of role model you want for your sons?

If you reconcile, are you prepared to live a life of constant doubt that he will be faithful? Having constant worries about your sexual health? Living with someone who has so little respect for women that he thinks they can be bought?

clairedins Thu 07-Jul-11 20:32:44

Thank you for the advice Hunterswish and One Morning, really grateful for that. DariusVassell - if you read my post, my husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, manic depression, which he was on medication for, he slept with prostitutes during his, 'manic', phases before they were controlled by medication. He had 4 one night stands while we were apart, not together and I had a 4 month relationship. He is no longer on medication and I have absolutely no issue with trusting him and the fact that he is a fantastic father. Before he became ill there was never any issue with faithfulness. The worry I have is that we will not be able to get the, 'spark', back.

DariusVassell Thu 07-Jul-11 23:45:24

Yes, I understood your post entirely. What I was trying to get you to consider was how much of your H's behaviour can be explained away by his condition - and how much of it is because of his character and values? As you know, this is one of the trickiest issues to resolve when living with someone with this condition - how much is about him as a person and how much is about his condition?

Prostitute use is pretty extreme behaviour and unlikely to be undertaken by someone who, were it not for his condition, valued women and despised the concept of buying another human being for their sexuality.

The one-night stands when you were separated and he was medicated, are noteworthy only because there is an obvious common theme of wanting one-off sexual encounters with lots of new people - other than that, he was by that time a free agent.

However, what does surprise me is that you have total trust and confidence in his future fidelity, when there is such a wealth of evidence that people with bi-polar disorder are especially prone to the artificial "high" of new sexual encounters.

As well as this, it's the prostitution angle I think you need to consider more carefully - because that really is in a different league to other behaviours.

I was also interested to see that he is no longer on medication for what is a lifelong condition. What alternative treatment is he receiving?

pestroid Fri 08-Jul-11 00:00:37

I have we became a couple in 1989 and split in the summer of 1994, three and half years later we got back together again, and have been a couple again since dec 1997. Has it worked, maybe I am not sure, I think we would of been better of never seeing each other again at all, the love is there on my side but not on his.

Saffysmum Fri 08-Jul-11 06:16:47

Hi Clairedins - good luck on getting back together. One thing confuses me, (I work in MH), is that you seem to think his bi-polar is "cured". Actually, as I work with BP sufferers a lot, I know that once meds are seen to be controlling it, they are rarely stopped. BP is controlled and it can take a long long time to get the right dose/mix of meds; so am surprised that he appears to be med free for what is an on-going condition?

cestlavielife Fri 08-Jul-11 09:47:05

if you getting on well - go on holiday with him see how it goes.

like saffysmum tho i wonder about his MH - if he has BP surely it is ongoing?

and risks returning in either manic or low form?

how would you/your Ds handle that if you back living together? (not saying you couldnt but jsut maybe some things to talk seriously about with him)

do you think he is fully aware of his MH and totally in control of when he needs to go back and medicate? if yes then of course yes there are people with BP who are totally in control of their condition and maange it well - however there is always going to be risk of an extreme episode and you need to plan what to do for that, with him.

did he have any signs of MH before 2007?

my exP had major breakdown in 2007 but in reality he had always had depressive phases - i now know since teenage years - but it certainly became much much worse from 2005 onwards

fastweb Fri 08-Jul-11 10:04:45

so am surprised that he appears to be med free for what is an on-going condition?

Ditto.

OP do you have only his word for it that he is med free on medical advice ?

Because without that I would be extremely cautious about putting your kids back on the on\off roller coaster that appears to be your relationship history.

Rejecting meds is not at all unusual. If he has unilaterally decided to be med free that is a red flag of pretty mammoth proportions.

Having lived with bi polar I in the family for 15 years there is no way in hell I would make any decisions that affected my childrens' stability and well being without full disclosure from the DOCTOR with regards to the treatment plan AND the certainty that it was being adhered to.

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