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Separated three years - should we try again?

(30 Posts)
mariefrance1 Tue 12-Feb-13 02:33:24

Exdh came to me out of the blue a month ago and asked to give our relationship one more go after three years separated (two while still in the same house.)
My first reaction was no chance, then gradually he talked me round into trying again but taking it slowly. However we have met up several times but the conversation becomes heavy and we end up arguing and there is nothing enjoyable or pleasant about being together.

To provide a bit of background, we have been together 15 years and things started to go downhill after we had our first of two children 9 years ago. He worked from home barely earning, I worked all hours in a stressful job. I wanted to stay at home or work part-time, he wanted me to bring in the money. Cue loads of arguments over the years about that.

He opted out of family life because he found looking after the children until I returned from work too stressful. I walked in from work, he walked out to do his own thing. He hated doing family stuff on weekends. More anger and resentment about that.

He has been diagnosed with depression and is on medication now and he claims he is a different person, that he can now see what he has lost, that he loves me and he can now cope with the children.

He says let's try again before we divorce and sell the house. Part of me thinks give it a go but I can't seem to get back any loving feelings for him. He is definitely acting more upbeat and loving so should I try and adjust to the new him? But if I don't love him or am not physically attracted to him at the moment should I put a stop to it now? Could my feelings for him grow? Has anyone got any experience of a couple trying again and genuinely making it work?

Chubfuddler Tue 12-Feb-13 04:39:46

God no. Not when you say "there is nothing enjoyable or pleasant about being together". Why on earth would you?

Longdistance Tue 12-Feb-13 04:59:56

Noooooo, just leave well alone. You sound like you've been fine on your own so far, and as you've said you can't get that loving feeling back.
As its not pleasant or enjoyable being together, then definitely not.

Lueji Tue 12-Feb-13 07:23:50

However we have met up several times but the conversation becomes heavy and we end up arguing and there is nothing enjoyable or pleasant about being together.

That's your answer.

I'll bet that not long after getting back that he would revert to his old ways.

ghostmummy Tue 12-Feb-13 07:52:03

Long answer cut short, give it a go, I have been separated 5 years, there was a point 2 years after we split he wanted to try. In hindsight I wish I had. It probably woulda
Nt have worked but I will never know. I have had 2 long relationships since and bar the initial loved up excitement the grass is not greener. Good luck, also, there must be nothing nicer than being with the father of your children if you can make it work!

SheerWill Tue 12-Feb-13 07:54:26

We are on this earth for such a short time, why waste any more of it with someone who you don't love or even like spending time with. Who you're not attracted to and who realises how easy he had it and wants to go back to taking advantage of you. He had his chance, he blew it. You're worth more than that and quite frankly your children deserve to see you happy in a positive relationship that fulfills all your needs. This isn't it!

newbiefrugalgal Tue 12-Feb-13 07:56:42

If you do try again how will it bedifferent?
I know children would be older does they just make it naturally easier for him?
Is he jealous of your lifestyle/life now? What's his true motivation?
If you try do you know you would be strong enough to stop it/end it if things are no different?
Would you tell the children? What would it do to them if you are back together but split up again?
Prior to this have you had any desire for him?

Wow I'm a nosey one aren't I!??!!
(She who has been cheated on and trying to repair things so maybe not the best to ask!)

Letsmakecookies Tue 12-Feb-13 08:09:19

You need to sit down and remember all the things that happened that made you feel like separating over the past years, and not look at them with rose tinted glasses. Whether he was depressed or not, he is still responsible for the way he behaves. I would certainly find a very sensible friend, or a good therapist and talk it through with them before I restarted a marriage that had been dead in the water for that long. And remember that just because he is on meds now, doesn't mean he is healed and will never revert to being depressed and/or his old behaviour, and it doesn't eradicate the memories of all those arguments and him opting out of family life (using you like a cheap skivvy and having little love or respect for you).

Quite frankly, if it were me (having had a depressed xh amongst a myriad of other issues) I would run like the wind, join a salsa class and have lots of love affairs. Like a poster said, you only live once, have some fun.

purplewithred Tue 12-Feb-13 08:11:00

Are you serious???? No!

mariefrance1 Tue 12-Feb-13 08:37:32

Thanks for your replies. Most of you are saying forget it! I have started counselling, had two sessions so think that will help. My head says give it a go - all I want is a happy family life. My heart is not in it sadly.

olgaga Tue 12-Feb-13 08:41:11

Good grief, you don't really need to ask do you?

Sounds like all he's worried about is the fact that his meal ticket is going to be lost forever.

Chubfuddler Tue 12-Feb-13 08:49:24

What on earth makes you think you'll have a happy family life with him? He sounds awful.

Families are all shapes and sizes. You and your children are a family. Your ex and the children are a family. You don't have to cohabit with an adult male to be a family.

Lueji Tue 12-Feb-13 08:50:01

Why is your head saying yes?
So that you don't have to sell the house and go through the hassle o divorce? So that you don't "fail"? So that the children have both parents at home?

For your head;
- he's still not making you happy
- he's actually likely to get worse if you go back, as he'll know that he can get you back by acting a little bit better (not even really well)
- it will be more difficult to get out next time
- people are likely to be as sympathetic as you've taken him back and think you'll go back again and again
- your children will be more confused

You are falling for this ideal of a family that he didn't provide and he's not likely to, if conversations with him are still so difficult.

Lueji Tue 12-Feb-13 08:51:00

And trust your instincts.

AnyFucker Tue 12-Feb-13 08:51:27

stop trying to force a square peg into a round hole

There are good reasons why it didn't work last time....things haven't changed just because he says so

It sounds like you have understandably lost respect for him, so having to push yourself into this

It'll never work

Lueji Tue 12-Feb-13 08:52:17

Ups, "people are NOT likely to be as sympathetic"

GoodtoBetter Tue 12-Feb-13 08:52:23

No, no, no! Can't believe you're even thinking about it. You don't fancy him, there "is nothing pleasant about being together", he was a selfish arse when you were married. WHY would you even give this a moment's consideration? Are you mad?

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Tue 12-Feb-13 08:53:22

Just another voice to say NOOOOOO! Your first paragraph summed it up, why even try and talk yourself into it. You were not happy with him, still are not happy with him, and won't ever be happy with him.

Run for the hills.

Great that he is sorting out his depression, at least he might become a decent dad to his kids if he can now cope with them. He doesn't need a sexual relationship with you to have that.

"he can now cope with the children"

Well haven't they won the big prize then? hmm

No, don't do it!

Spero Tue 12-Feb-13 08:59:22

I don't want to believe that people never change but sadly I have never met anyone who did.

You are already descending into arguments - so there is your communication style, before you even begin living together with all the additional stress that brings.

If he can communicate respectfully and openly with you, of he can be absolutely honest about what went wrong before, if he has actually done something to show he has changed those elements of his personality that caused so much trouble before... I might say give it a go for a time limited period.

But he hasn't has he? So I think 'trying again' is doomed to failure.

springyhopes Tue 12-Feb-13 14:46:48

It may be none of my business, but your children have suffered the consequences of your union from the day they were born. Again, none of my business, but separated for two years but living in the same house? Those poor kids. What kind of a model have they had all this time? Why did you live together all that time but were separated? I appreciate there are reasons but I can't help thinking that kids need something cut and dried. If you got back together, how long would the adjustment take? YOur eldest could be 14 before the results of the experiment are apparent. imo all this vascillating will surely have been very unsettling for the kids.

And imo it is madness to think about trying again when you are not remotely attracted to him.

MsSavingPennies Tue 12-Feb-13 15:39:33

I would go with your first reaction 'no chance'!!

He probably realises he was on to a good thing when he was with you. You worked all hours while he did his own th

MsSavingPennies Tue 12-Feb-13 15:44:41

Oops pressed too soon.

While he did his own thing, did little work. Didn't make an effort with the children. Deep down do you think he would really change? Has he been a great dad since you separated. Is he now earning a decent wage?

cestlavielife Tue 12-Feb-13 16:09:02

he claims - so what evidence do you have for all this change?
how often does he have the DC?
how happy are they to go off with him?

give him a good long time to prove himself first - he is around anyway for the DC right so you ahve a "business" relationship? keep it at that. enjoy the enw upbeat him as the father of your dc. let teh dc enjoy that... finalize the divorce. take a holiday with him and DC if you want to. try it on for a week or so... but dont take him back, no. give him another two years...see how much impact the meds still having, if he really can cope with life and challenges

"there is nothing enjoyable or pleasant about being together" so dont even think about it --tho if you really wanted to try something and if your DC agree you could try taking a holiday altogether as a separated family. like fergie and andrew??... and even try doing this once in a while to show you all moved on and are ok.

AnyFucker Tue 12-Feb-13 16:13:52

Yup, it's not an either/or thing is it ?

You could still cultivate a good co-parenting relationship with him

But if he is only prepared to do that if you accept him back as a sexual partner, you are onto a loser from the get-go

mariefrance1 Tue 12-Feb-13 17:41:57

No one has said they or anyone they know has made a successful go of it after a long separation. Or that someone can fundamentally change after a period apart. What makes me think my situation would be any different?!

newbiefrugalgal Fri 15-Feb-13 08:23:17

Be strong.
You can do it on your own.
You've proven this already.
Let him be a great dad -from a distance.
You deserve so much more happiness!!

mrscoleridge Fri 15-Feb-13 19:06:52

Absolutely not. Mind you may have clouded judgement thinking about my ex asking me that. But still no

Bitofadviceplease Fri 15-Feb-13 19:37:50

You sound like you know the answer your just wanting us to confirm it. NO smile

maleview70 Fri 15-Feb-13 19:41:36

I know someone who did this. She was married for 10 years then split for almost 3 years. Finally got back with him. Was happy for first 2/3 then it started going wrong again. Same issues as before. They parted finally after 7 years but by the end they were is separate rooms and leading completely separate lives. Their children therefore had to go through a split, a new man in their lives, another split, the happiness of seeing their parents back together and then seeing it all go wrong again....coldness, no tenderness, no love and a final and very acrimonious 2nd split and everything that entails.

That can't be good for children and in my opinion is not worth the risk.

By all means stay close to him for the kids sake but be better parents apart than you would ever be together!!

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