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is this normal when you have split up?

(19 Posts)
lovesmybed Mon 01-Aug-11 09:33:55

Hi everyone
Split up with my husband four months ago, he left me and two children. It was a bit out of the blue him leaving as we hadn't been rowing. Although he does get really stressed about his job and sometimes goes really down and into his own shell for a few days. He has suffered from (untreated)depression on and off since the death of his dad a few years ago.
Anyway since he has left we are now in a routine where he comes down every night straight after work, he has his dinner here, he washes up. Kids go to bed, he stays until late then goes home. We are also sleeping together.
I have been quite hurt by the situation as when he first starting doing this I assumed he would want to move back in but he has said he is confused about this and it isn't what he wants! At the same time he is here every night but we are paying for two houses!
I really don't think he is having an affair as I don't know when he would do it. Every couple of weeks he will go on one of his downers and we won't see him for a couple of days but pretty sure he just stops in as mutual friends who live next door to him says he doesn't get any visitors or go out. Anyway he will get on another downer like this, then pull himself together and come round again. He has told mutual friends living alone is the only way he can deal with these black moods. I have asked him to go for counseling but he won't.
I love him very much and want things to work out but feel like I am being used. I also don't like living alone and as well as all this find it hard to define our relationship. Are we back together? Are we just friends?
I know this situation can't go on forever but scared to issue an ultimatum in case he stops coming.
Am I being a complete mug? Has anyone experienced anything like this and how did it finish?

GentlemanGin Mon 01-Aug-11 09:42:08


I'm no expert, just a random bloke on MN, but manic depression is my first thought.

Sure you'll get better advice soon...

KRIKRI Mon 01-Aug-11 10:24:49

My former neighbour was in a similar situation - a relationship had finished, but her ex still came round to spend time with their daughter and occasionally, still wanted to sleep with her. She held out hope that this meant he still loved her and wanted to patch things up, but when she finally broached the subject, he was emphatic that it was "over." She found it hurtful that he attached no more significance to having sex with her than he did having a cup of coffee with her. When she finally realised this, she stopped him coming to her house and re-arranged for him to see their dd at her grannies.

For your own sense of well-being, I would suggest that you not continue to have sex with your ex. That will probably be messing with your head alot and maintaining some sort of boundary will be important for your own mental well-being and perhaps his as well. You can still demonstrate that you care about his welfare and want him to get skilled help to deal with what's going on and that will probably be easier if you aren't muddying the waters by still having sex. Of course it is quite possible that he IS using you just for sex, but in any case, if you knock that out of the equation, it's going to help, imho.

The other difficult thing that you have to get to grips with is that while you can provide information and suggest he seeks counselling, he's going to have to be the person who makes the move. You can't make him. You can express concerns to his friends and family in hopes that they will also encourage him, but it's not up to you. So, if you are worried that "giving him an ultimatum" might drive him over the edge, please don't. Also, it's important to get your head round the fact that whatever he does or doesn't do regarding help-seeking, it may make no difference to whether your marriage is repaired.

Best of luck in a difficult situ and look after yourself and your dcs well.

lovesmybed Mon 01-Aug-11 10:31:03

Yes thanks good advice

DariusVassell Mon 01-Aug-11 11:06:23

I have never known a guy with children to leave suddenly and there hasn't been an affair, so I think you might be a bit naive to think he hasn't got the time.

Whatever the reason for his departure, he is having a fine old time of it now, isn't he? He gets his dinner cooked every night, sees the kids for a minimal amount of time, doesn't have responsibility for their everyday care - and has sex on tap too. I'm assuming that his OW can't do evenings and is probably attached herself. The "lost weekends" when you don't see him for a couple of days are probably when he sees her, as well as during the day when he's supposed to be at work.

He won't come back all the while he doesn't feel your loss. You shouldn't allow him to come back until he's honest with you about why he left. Since his "depression" is undiagnosed and untreated, it has provided a convenient excuse for what is selfish and manipulative behaviour.

It's also probably been a more palatable reason for you to hang this on to and I do understand that, but honestly - wake up and see what is happening here. Make him feel your loss and get yourself STI checked.

lovesmybed Mon 01-Aug-11 20:36:31

I really don't think he is having an affair, I know where he is virtually all the time and I also know a lot of his friends from work. I appreciate sometimes this is what is going on but don't think this is the case.
I honestly don't think it is him having his cake and eating it. He doesn't just eat his tea have sex and then bugger off. He buys the food, sometimes cooks it, washes up, baths the kids, does any diy, washing, etc. In short he behaves just like a husband would but then at the end of the night goes back to his flat.
Weird situation I know

MovingAndScared Mon 01-Aug-11 20:44:45

whatever the reason - and have to say I also wouldn't rule it an affair out -
its not fair on you -I think you need to set some boundries could you suggest marriage couselling, has he been to his GP -I assume not ? I think I would set some boundaries - eg if he want to come round and look after kids - you go out for a bit and get a break for instance

buzzsore Mon 01-Aug-11 20:47:31

I think if you want the situation resolved you'll have to put a spoke in the wheel, by stopping the casual dropping in, sex, etc. Currently he doesn't have to address his mental health or whatever other problems he has, as he can have his family life and his single life. While he may help out and contribute when he's with you (which is good), he also opts out whenever he likes, and that is having his cake and eating it, imo.

I think you should ask him to go to his GP and get treatment, and up until the point he does something about whatever it is, there's no cosy family life - he has more formal access to the children, takes them to his place instead - and you start living as a single person.

notsorted Mon 01-Aug-11 20:54:03

Hi, definitely set some boundaries. Give yourself a timescale that works for you. Decide what you want and how you want to achieve it. Also think through best and worst case scenarios. It will give you clarity and then see how he reacts.
You should really get some time for yourself. How about asking him to babysit while you go and do something alone or with friends.

lovesmybed Mon 01-Aug-11 21:03:03

Yes think you are all right and I don't know why I am defending him really. I do go out with friends and don't just sit around waiting for him to come around but know this situation can't go on forever. Just scared about what will happen. I don't want to lose him. Sad I know

mo3d Mon 01-Aug-11 21:33:48

The way things are at the moment, he is never going to miss you and want to come back. You are going to have to cut contact with him for a good few months, except for contact with your dcs, then he might realise he wants you back. And if he doesn't, at least you will have started your new life. Good luck.

DuelingFanjo Mon 01-Aug-11 21:35:56

I think one way to gain some control would be to stop sleeping with him.

GentlemanGin Mon 01-Aug-11 21:39:17

After re Reading the OP I totally agree with Fanjo. Stop letting him into your bed. Take control of the situation.

itwasthat Mon 01-Aug-11 21:41:31

just wanted to add that you shouldnt think of yourself as 'sad' your behaviour is perfectly normal. but i agree with some of the above, dont let him take advantage of you. start planning for what could be ... he hasnt been reliable for you but i really do hope he can get help for everyone's sake

buzzsore Mon 01-Aug-11 21:43:43

How you feel is totally understandable, but you have to think in terms of you have already lost him - he just hasn't gone yet. You have to starting valuing yourself more - accepting a situation that makes you feel used is going to dwindle your self-esteem to nothing. He clearly has no intention of tackling his issues at the moment - he needs to be given that impetus.

DariusVassell Mon 01-Aug-11 21:50:48

OP please try to reverse this, because I get the feeling that you are being especially tolerant because he is a man.

Could you have walked out on your H and DCs because you couldn't handle living with the family? If you felt that bad, would you refuse to seek a diagnosis and medical help? Refuse to go to counselling?

If you'd left him in that situation with no explanation and no attempt to resolve matters, would he be welcoming you back every night, do you think? And accepting of you going to ground for a few days every few weeks - and being unreachable?

What would you say if a woman did this? And what would you say about a man who was putting up with it?

lovesmybed Mon 01-Aug-11 22:18:15

God yes you are right. I am putting up with so much because I love someone I am letting an unhealthy situation develop. Am going to have a big think about everything. I think I need to carry on offering support but stop sleeping with him and letting him come round all the time. Really I am achieving nothing the way things are going. I am just a bit scared I think of losing him but maybe I already have.

GentlemanGin Mon 01-Aug-11 22:30:07

Lovesmybed, apart from sleeping with him, you're being a good person. Generous , tolletant and compassionate. You married the guy and I assume promised thick and thin.

If , and it seems to depend on your DH, god forbid you do split up , it's his decission. You could live in limbo for years. He either needs councelling of some kind, or make a decission one way or the other. Ideally both. But you sound like you're reacting properly in a tough situation.

GentlemanGin Mon 01-Aug-11 22:31:18

Tolletant = tolerant ( sp sorry )

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