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DP wallked out, had a breakdown and now wants to come back...

(68 Posts)
OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 10:50:02

I was with DP for 15 months - everything was good, I loved him, he was brilliant with my DS and I really liked his DSs. He didn't live with us but came round several times a week and every other weekend, often with his DSs too. We had a stressful & disastrous holdiay (original thread here) which resulted in me taking my key from DP . He didn't live with us but was here often. He then disappeared for 3 months.

I had wanted to talk to him - about what happened on holiday, why I wanted my key back, what was going on etc but he refused to talk. He'd send occasional texts and say he loved me and missed me etc.

I missed him terribly and begged him to talk to me but he wouldn't. He has a history of depression & I know he's suffered badly in the past. I wanted to be understanding.

Anyway, I've sent him occasional texts and sent a message earlier this week saying I hoped he was ok, I still missed him and was thinking of him but was moving on slowly.

He now wants to come back. He's called me and emailed and wants to talk. He says he wants me back, to have things how they were, to grow old together etc. I love him - I want him back but I'm angry. I want to be patient and understanding but this is a pattern with him now - he gets stressed/ upset and walks away - this is the second time he's done it with me and he did it to his ex-DW too.

I can't have that happening with DS. It's not fair - he already has an unsettled life and I don't want him living with a man who, for whatever reason, comes and goes with no warning.


Mutt Sat 06-Aug-11 11:00:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NunTheWiser Sat 06-Aug-11 11:04:19

I couldn't do this to my child. It's not a healthy relationship model for him to emulate when he grows up either.

OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 11:19:44

Oh dear sad I fear you are right.

If I were on my own, I would have said it was ok too. But DS has seen his Dad leave and now DP. You're right, it doesn't send him a good message.

When DP called yesterday he said he wouldn't ever let it happen again and when I asked him how he'd stop it, he said he didn't know. That he hadn't seen it coming this time.

If I felt confident he had better coping strategies or was having counselling to try to figure things out, I'd feel like we might be able to work something out.

I desperately want him back and I don't want to hold mental illness against him but DS MUST and always will come first. DS is away for the next couple of weeks so at least I can talk to DP without worrying about that.

lifechanger Sat 06-Aug-11 11:35:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImperialBlether Sat 06-Aug-11 11:42:41

Move on. It's not MH that's the problem; that's insulting to those suffering from it. He chooses to walk away when he's stressed. If you stay with him, there will be stressful times - it's inevitable if he was living with a child that wasn't his own, whilst his own are missing him so much. It doesn't sound as though he'd cope well at all and that would have to impact on you and your son.

honeyandsalt Sat 06-Aug-11 11:49:40

Just read the other thread - you said you wanted "a partner not another dependant". Given that he doesn't have the emotional intelligence is unable to understand that what he needs to do is reassure his kids and learn how to discipline I don't see how you're not just going to end up with another dependant tbh. I mean, it may be possible to build his confidence and parenting skills, but it'd be a lot of work. And in the meantime you're stuck with being the adult, and your DS carries on being bullied by his kids.

I don't know. If you can downgrade him to BF and only see him sans kids for the time it'd take to do the work on his parenting and confidence then maybe? Though I'm not certain how the DSSes will ever come round to treating your DS with kindness tbh.

OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 12:04:31

Yes, lifechanger, that's the worry.

Imperial, I think his diagnosed MH issue is the problem, at least in part. But his inablitity to deal with it like a grown up with responsibilities is the bigger problem. I've had serious mental illness in the past but took very great care not to hurt the people I loved so it's very hard to me to understand how he did what he did. It's all very well him realising now that he hurt me and DS and he feels bad but there's no guaranatee that he won't do it again - in fact I feel sure that he will.

I miss him and his DSs. I don't know. I'll talk to him, at least. And tell him. My head says to keep a wide berth but my heart says otherwise.

honey, can you learn emotional intelligence? I was tempted to buy him a book The stuff he does, or doesn't do doesn't seem like rocket science to me. But I work with vulnerable children so maybe I am more aware of what to do? Or am I making excuses for him being rubbish?

I just was hoping he'd learn better ways of dealing with it all.

EveryonesJealousOfWeasleys Sat 06-Aug-11 12:04:46

Walk away - he can't parent his own kids effectively, to the detriment of your DS's safety. He is unreliable under pressure. Not what you or DS needs.

ImperialBlether Sat 06-Aug-11 12:08:01

Do you think he sees you as able to cope, so he can afford to not cope, IYSWIM? You are obviously efficient at work, you manage your son well, you seem to have a reasonable relationship with your ex, insofar as it doesn't affect your son's relationship with his dad.

He would gain so much more from your relationship than you would.

OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 12:13:38

I hadn't thought of it like that. He often commented on how I could do 'everything'- I disagree but I think he's not sure how I manage a full-time job, DS, 2 foreign language students, DS's father (who is awkward to say the least but lives far far away) and renovating my house (I am currently on a tea break from lifting floor tiles!)

I do all that stuff because I need to. It needs doing and there's no-one else to do it. That's what lone parents do! It's nothing amazing. But I am very independent and stubborn and not good at sitting around doing nothing. So maybe he sees that as strong?

But yes, he can't parent his own children and was becoming like another child when he was here. Yet, in the beginning - for the first year or so, he was great - helpful, considerate, smiley... and he managed his children better and they were happier.

OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 12:15:11

When he asked to move in, I said no, not til he'd sorted out his divorce. I bet he still hasn't done it. I'll ask tomorrow!

honeyandsalt Sat 06-Aug-11 12:32:27

You do sound really capable, and like the sort of person who will just take responsability, and so he's just increasingly deferring to you? Like, if he's seen that you have noticed his DS's bad behaviour and haven't said anything he thought "Oh well if she's not doing anything it must be ok" - something along those lines. Anyway, he is wrong.

Is it possible to learn emotional intelligence and good parenting? Well I guess it's what supernanny does for a living grin. He sounds willing to try though which is a start. I would buy him a book actually, there are probably many specialist tones out there on blending families, parenting etc.

There's a mental health issue too though? I don't know. Personally I think you need to point him in the right direction, let him try and sort his MH, parenting, divorce things. If you're still keen in a year then maybe it is meant to be?

Adult relationships are meant to be a partnership, mutually supportive. I'm not really seeing what he's bringing to the party here and I'm not sure you need another dependant, as you say.

ImperialBlether Sat 06-Aug-11 12:39:13

Does he work full time? Does he show responsibility at work?

OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 12:45:44

I think, for me to consider anything with him, even friendship, I need to know he's having counselling or some sort of help so he can identify his difficulties and begin to deal with them appropriately. Because that's a very basic thing, isn't it? We all have problems and blended families are always going to be a challenge but most people manage, even if they need a glass of wine & a rant every now and then.

He says he wanted to talk to me over the past 3 months but hasn't been able. I know he has speech problems and develops a terrible stutter when stressed and when I did call him once he was almost incoherent. But even so, he didn;t even try (well, he says he came over 3 times but couldn't bring himself to come to the door hmm)

Thinking about it, he seems to have issues with lots of women (I am the 3rd significant ex) including his sister. He's never been able to explain why he dislikes her so much but he won't even stay in the same room as her hmm

And yes, perhaps a book! And a kick to tie up his loose ends - finalise his divorce and stuff. I think he has a huge amount of work to do.

I tend to believe in 'live and let live' - I take people for what they are and get on with things. Life's to short to fall out with everybody

OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 12:47:54

He does work full time - really hard. He's office-based but often helps his team with physical labour and manual stuff. He seems highly thought of. And, apart from being crap at behaviour and discipline, he's great with his kids (and mine) - playing with them and being really interactive. But being a parent is about doing all of that.

Eurostar Sat 06-Aug-11 12:57:55

I remember your other thread and was sad for your DS - I think I asked what might be also happening for your DSS at home - what was his Mum's attitude to the trip away etc..

Anyway - you cannot fix this man, although you are used to coping it doesn't mean that you have to persue a relationship where you are fixing and coping. I'd actually be looking at counselling for yourself to explore why you are so attracted to someone who so clearly cannot step up to the the mark.

Really, it would be cruel to put your DS in a "blended family" situation with this family. He could well bear the brunt of your DSS's dysfunctional behaviour when out of your sight. Poor lad (DSS) sounds like he has all sorts of confusion going on and who knows what pressures from his own side.

I'm sorry you are lonely, it's not nice but try to keep in mind that you are chasing a fantasy, you are chasing ex on his good behaviour and he is unable to keep that up. It is sad for him too but the likelihood that you can fix him after such a messed up life is pretty much nil and, as you are trying, your DS might become very messed up himself.

OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 13:03:38

Right, I'm going to get a grip and stop this nonsense. He hurt me, he hurt DS, he is no good for us. I love him

I am going to stop being pathetic and sentimental. I have a date tomorrow - someone who lives a long way from me and wants me to make jam from his plums (not a euphemism grin)... perhaps I do need counselling!

I have texted him to say I don't think meeting is a good idea - its been too long & other than making him feel better, I don't see what talking will achieve.

Thank you very much to everyone who has responded. It really helps.

ImperialBlether Sat 06-Aug-11 13:06:26

It's a hard lesson to learn, that love isn't enough, isn't it?

OneManBand Sat 06-Aug-11 13:09:50



HandDivedScallopsrgreat Sat 06-Aug-11 13:17:55

OneManBand my best friend has just got rid of her tosser husband and this story sounds very familiar (so familiar in fact that I am wondering if it is the same person!). He has MH issues too and she would get home and just find he had disappeared without a note for months on end. The MH issues were just an excuse for his bad behaviour, there were other control/gaslighting issues going on as well. He also had badly behaved sons, which he expected her to deal with. It got to a stage where she ended up calling the police to get rid of him.

This is man is telling you what he is like, believe him. He isn't going to change and the consequences of taking this relationship any further for you and your DS could be much more serious.

ShoutyHamster Sat 06-Aug-11 14:18:55

I think you're doing the right thing.

I think, sadly, that you are seeing the reasons why his marriage foundered.

As has been said, when a man leaves a relationship when the children are so small, it's not a good sign.

You can justifiably feel sorry for him, in spades - I do - but you can't have your child's happiness and security compromised in order to try and create a security blanket for a grown man. The onus has to be on him to seek to sort out his problems - I think that him being shown here that he can't just bail out on people and then come running back might be the best help you can give him.

It sounds as if this man has a lot of changing to do before he finds happiness.

HerHissyness Sat 06-Aug-11 14:55:37

I agree with shouty...

OneManBand, you can't fix him. You can't love him into being a better person. You have your DS to think of, this man is clearly very flawed, you don't need him near you or your boy.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Sat 06-Aug-11 15:27:11

OneManBand, you sound like such an amazing person! Very strong, together, self-aware, caring, great mum, great partner. No wonder your ex wants to come back.
But as other people have said, you can't fix this man, and it sounds as though that's what he wants—he just wants to hand you all his problems so that he doesn't even have to try to deal with them. When he's confronted with a crisis he just runs away. And he can't give you any real assurance that he's learned better ways to cope since the last time or indeed that anything has changed at all.
Even if you tried again with him I think you'd either be worn down or just get tired of doing all the heavy lifting in the relationship.
And you deserve better! There are stronger, more sorted men out there, or at least men who will take responsibility for their own problems and make some attempt to deal with them—and help you with yours.
Good luck with your date and his jammy plums. Hope you have a great time.

TheProvincialLady Sat 06-Aug-11 15:41:12

If this had happened after a ten year relationship I might have said give him a chance but don't let him move in for six months. But after 15 months? No way. Don't bind yourself to him. I think you have made the right decision.

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