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Midlife Crisis? Or just a knobhead???

(54 Posts)
Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 13:57:08

Name changed semi-regular. Where do I start?

DP of 13 years was being a bit odd in the lead up to Christmas. Buying clothes too young for him, ordering a new car that was way out of his price range, zoning us out when he was at home i.e. walking around with his headphones in. He works away from home a lot and he works really hard and I knew he was under a lot of stress for most of last year. He was grouchy and had a few medical issues to deal with but he never made me feel unloved, always hugging me, telling me he was happy, telling our son that he loved me and that he should be happy his mum and dad were so affectionate (DC would often be shoving his fingers down his throat in mock horror). We have the one child who DP's doted on since the minute he was born.

The flip side to his former self is that he seemed to be constantly stuck in some kind of teenager mode and has always had the belief that he can do what he likes in terms of going out, boozing until he's sick, spending a fortune on designer clothes - yes he earns a lot of money but frankly, his attitude when pissed is appalling. His behaviour did cause problems from time to time as I felt he was being disrespectful to us. He had a tough upbringing but I believed that he wanted the best for his Son and I truly truly felt very loved. He doesn't always deal with confrontation in the best way and he could be brutally mean (verbally) and selfish when ever I raised my issues with the way he was behaving at given points over the years. Obviously, the financial side of things was concerning me recently because for everything I was earning in my part time job, he was spending on himself and it felt like all my money was going in the supermarket and his was going on posh jeans.

So it was a shock to find text messages between him and a work colleague who is 22 years younger than me. They were flirty and he was really being some person I didn't recognise trying to impress her. I had asked him days before if there was someone else because of the way he'd been acting and he told me that my mistrust was ruining our relationship. Of course, I didn't buy that because my instinct was telling me otherwise deep down, but I just didn't believe that he'd ever do anything like this until the obvious changes in behaviour towards my Son and I.

I asked him to leave our home as he was being an obnoxious prick in front of our child when I found the texts. I thought we'd have a good discussion about it when the heat was out of the situation but it seems he just doesn't give a shit and he just ran off to another city to be near to her. He told me that me finding those texts was the best thing that ever happened to him and he feels 'alive'. He's said he never loved me. He told our Son that he just wasn't happy at home which I was livid about - to our Son he was always happy fun-loving Dad and actually, I felt we were a loving secure happy family unit too. I thought that though he was under a lot of stress, he was fine as I asked him plenty of times in the lead up to this.

It turns out she's back with her ex and has never had any real interest in him as relationship potential. Of course, that's made him come sniffing back my way from time to time over the last couple of weeks. He's refusing to do mediation until he's ready. I've asked him if he wants to reconcile and he won't say either way. One day he's gushing about what a great life we had and how he's lost everything for nothing, that he never wanted or expected us to split up and the next he's as cold as a wet fish and treats me like I'm shit for even trying to hold a conversation with him.

I have no idea what to do. I've taken all the legal advice I need so that if he continues behaving like a reckless madman then we're protected. I'm trying to separate from him in the best way without the courts etc. because I'll come out of it better off - his financial proposal is very generous, but very much on his terms and my only worry there is that he won't stick to it if the young bird he's got in his mind decides that she's up for a wealthy older sugar daddy after all.

I just feel like I've been living a big fat lie for the last 13 years. I feel stupid for trusting someone so deeply. Of course, my career went months after I returned from mat leave and there's not really any chance of me going back to that I've been out of that industry for so long. I have to sit and watch him winning awards and professional accolade after accolade, and see his bonus go up in smoke all the while wondering what the hell I'm going to do to even attempt to retrain and get something fulfilling for myself between now and retirement.

He's not back from this work trip for a month and I'm confused. I loved him very deeply. Our Son is obviously really upset and I'm having to constantly defend his father and not bad-mouth him when he's so angry. I'm making sure all his needs are met and in truth, I'm still trying to keep their father/Son bond going when he should be doing that himself. My Son doesn't want to speak to his Dad either when he calls to speak to him, often from different time zones. He says he wants his Dad to come home and that he loves him and hates him all at the same time. In truth, that's exactly how I feel. My Son is definitely my priority and I don't want to compromise his future which is why I've held off grassing him up to his boss for attempting to screw the crew (a big no no in that organisation) and why I've not contacted her and given her the gobfull I'd so love to. She could've at least shagged him for leading him on. I know it's all his fault but she knew full well we existed before she accepted his invitations. They went out a few times before I found out and were together every night until she got back with her ex who also works for the same organisation. She was using my ex to win hers back I think!

Anyone here any good advice on how to deal with ex DP? I'm scared to cut him off and just do the cold clinical court situation because I've tried that and frankly, it makes him worse...he told me he'd default on the mortgage and our home is in both our names - I have no hope of meeting the mortgage on my current or even a good predicted salary on my own. He has also said he'll continue to pay our Son's school fees and he's really happy in his school - it's a good constant for him at the minute. The thought of me doing anything rash to compromise our financial security is like torture...but then the way he's behaving is also like torture. I'm very tempted to tell him to shove it but my family are telling me to hold my tongue and be patient.

Even today, he's told me he's not ready for mediation yet and I just have to wait...either for him to 'snap out' of his bloody crisis or for him to decide he wants to reconcile. How does one stop thinking about such a bloody horrible man? I love him, yet hate him. I want him back one minute and the next I just want him gone.

He plans on staying here after this work trip because he hasn't yet found his bachelor pad. To be honest, I need his financial help and so I'm not going to say no. That sucks.

Sorry for the essay....any wise words greatly appreciated. Please go easy...I'm all over the place myself!

TeenyW123 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:09:09


Start divorce proceedings.

As a single parent you may find you're entitled to enough to keep the mortgage etc. if not, best to take control over your and DS's lives.

He'll have to pay maintenance for your son too. Have you been in touch with the CSA?

So sorry to hear you are in such a horrible situation. IMHO MidLifeCrisis=Knob anyway.

A wise friend told me when I was in the middle of a hideous separation like yours that the early days/months are a time of madness: nobody is rational, everyone's boiling over with emotion. But when you are in it you think this is what separation is like and is always going to be like. In fact it's just a phase and it will pass.

Normally I'd say sit tight and wait your moment, but if he's made a generous financial offer then maybe just work steadily and calmly to get that in writing.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 14:15:53

Thanks Teeny. We're not married!

I had to get legal advice immediately because of this and because our home is in both our names, I'm assured there's nothing he can do to get us out. I've also been told he'd be expected to pay the mortgage and maintenance because he earns so much so I felt reassured by that.

My solicitor was hardcore and suggested that based on my potential income and his, then she'd suggest getting our home put into my name. She has a point - we're in London and I'm not likely to get a mortgage on my own. He earns a fortune and will be able to start again quite easily.

The extra he's currently willing to pay is probably a better deal than a judge/CSA would order and I'm concerned about the school fees. I can go and get full time work etc. but it's just for my Son and the massive changes already suck. I can't imagine ripping him out of the school he loves...I know this could happen but i'm being held emotional hostage.

You are right about taking control...I've kind of done that and he reels me back in again. It's his crisis. I'm terrified of doing the wrong thing. He's told me that if a judge rules x,y or z that he would just find a lower paid job as he has no intention of working as hard as he does to hand it over to me for the next however many years...

Jan45 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:18:19

He doesn't love you the way he should and the way you would expect so yes, get rid pronto. He hurts you and hurts his child with cruel words when he's the one who has blown everything apart.

No offence but I would reckon he's not been happy for years. the OW has now brought the truth out, he's a shit guy who doesn't have any intentions of remaining faithful to you. If you want to go back to being his cook, cleaner and servant then take him back, but I bet you, you'll be back at square one again pretty soon.

It's over, he checked out the relationship a long time ago.

I'm really sorry that some you thought you could trust could hurt you in such a horrible mean way and still is even after the bubble has burst.

You need financial advice pronto.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 14:19:18

Thanks LadyGardners. I have his financial proposal in writing. I managed to get that a few days after he left.

This is why I'm walking on eggshells. He's not keen to see the mediator to formalise it. I can't work out if that's because he doesn't want to formalise it or whether he thinks he may come back...

I am grateful for your advice about the boiling over's very true. It feels really crap with every passing day and I feel my strength being sapped....I feel as insane as he's acting.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 14:20:58

Thanks Jan 45. You're probably right. I just don't understand why he didn't tell me he wasn't happy before it got to this.

To be honest, I can't imagine him changing for me or for anyone else. I do deserve better. I'm just stuck in a place of terror trying to do the right thing.

TeenyW123 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:22:18

Ladygardener's last para. Can you get him to agree his financial offer in writing?

TeenyW123 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:23:35

X posted. What does your solicitor say about the confirmed financial offer from knobhead?

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Thu 06-Feb-14 14:28:46

I would stop listening to what he is 'going' to do as I suspect the 'better than a court would decree settlement' is a figment. He is stalling for whatever reason but I suspect it is to maintain control. Start proceedings. An ego the size of his is unlikely to allow him to get a job cleaning bogs to spite you and all will be well.
For yourself, you really need to get him out of your life. He is dictating every action of yours. Quite why you are asking him whether he wants a reconciliation etc is a mystery, the only thing I would want from him is to see his back getting smaller as he walks away from me. You put the word 'Knobhead' in your OP. You know that is to put the word controlling in front of it and you have it correct don't you?

Phalenopsis Thu 06-Feb-14 14:30:26

He has behaved appallingly and 'he's not ready yet?!!?!

I'd be following the solicitor's advice to the letter. He sounds awful and you'd be better off without him.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 14:31:20

Solicitor thought she'd get our property signed over to me.

It's what she'd ask for anyway and she said he'd have to pay the mortgage and maintenance.

She also thought that his 3 monthly review of MY finances was a bit much and she'd push to get that removed to yearly at least. If I earned more than I do now, I wouldn't need to take as much from him but I don't want to be answering into him every 3 months either...he's the type that would fight over a tenner despite earning a fortune.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 14:36:30

Dinnaeknow Yes. You are so right. And you made me chuckle heartily grin.

I guess I thought about reconciling from the times he's been here and been lovely. But I also realise that most of the time he's not here and he's changed beyond recognition in reality...I guess I just didn't want to face up to what has happened. And I am really scared about my Son and my future. The day before I found the texts he was talking about where we'd go on holiday this year. He was talking about the house we planned to buy. I don't think he thought this was going to happen at all...but the minute I found him out, he went off. He's also told me he shouldn't have done that...but clearly he did so because he fancied a bit of a shag with a younger woman who has no responsibilities.

He's in proper crisis mode. He told me that he's prioritised our Son and I for over a decade and he just can't do it any more...

Jan45 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:36:49

If he'd wanted to work things out with you he would have at least attempted to improve the relationship, he didn't because he didn't want to, he's had one foot in the door and the other out, looking for someone else to feed his ego. You definitely deserve better than this, fuck his money, you don't need a man who can treat you so badly. I don't get either why you are even giving him the opportunity to come back, surely you know it's done.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 14:52:24

Jan45 Yes, you're right. I agree with you that this is clearly done. Unfortunately I believed him when he was being remorseful and loving. I was stupid enough to be charmed back into his bed for a few nights of proper passionate sex the days before he left - I also wanted to show him what he was missing if I'm honest...And then the minute he's away again, he's back to being cold and shitty again.

I figure the remorse wasn't genuine and he was just making sure that he left me in the state he has...I figure he was hoping I wouldn't move things along any while he's out of the country - he has commented how hurt he's been about me trying to sort out the finances so quickly. Even moaned about my removing him off FB. He's a headcase but please trust me when I tell you, this is very recent and I never believed he'd do this...It's only been weeks.

I've called my mediator to make an appointment for my part while he's away...that way when he's back there can't really be any excuse for him to not do it. If he doesn't then I guess I'll have to just go to court...but I'd rather not.

Jan45 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:59:58

You did what most of us would do, hysterical bonding apparently, it's normal, a knee jerk reaction to having your world blown to bits.

I get the impression he was trying to keep you sweet not in order to have a chance at reconciliation but more to allow him time to decide what he wants, perhaps have another shot at the OW, but be safe in the knowledge he can slink back to you any time he feels every other avenue has been explored.

You know it, you are far too good for him.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 15:09:55

Jan45 yes. I agree that's probably what he's doing.

Let's face it - he's left us for nothing. He has seemed rather bitter about her and her ex and he has to work with them both! I hope he does end up sat on his own night after night frankly regretting his stupidity. I hope he really is gutted a few months down the line, but I doubt it. He'll just replace her with someone else...

I know I deserve and want better for my Son and I...but I'm still in shock. He was talking about our next break together and stuff...I guess my own ego can't take the fact that I was with such a horrible bastard for such a lot of years and I feel so stupid. So so stupid.

ANd I posted on here because I needed people who don't know us to be able to look at the facts and tell me it straight...And though I've got great friends and family, I feel a burden to them. I just want to cut him off...I need to find the strength to do that instead of being embroiled in his f*cking horrible crisis and mess.

oldgrandmama Thu 06-Feb-14 15:28:26

Ha, reminds me of three middle aged guys I knew (not romatically) who all left their partners/wives for some tempting young woman they worked with, (in the entertainments industry), leaving not just partner/wife but children too.

And what happened? The tempting young women, when the middle aged swains turned up, declaring their enduring love and wanting to live together, promptly dumped them - what a shame (NOT).

All three went cringeing and crawling back to their wives/partners who, far from welcoming them with open arms, told them to off and promptly divorced the guys (in the case of wives) and made sure they received they went the legal route for child support etc. etc.

Just saying, OP. Only you can know what you want, really, really want, but ... could you ever trust him again?

Corygal Thu 06-Feb-14 15:35:20

Even if you take him back he'll do it again.

He's only trying to reconcile because it will save him money and effort managing a home. I know that sounds ghastly, but ask yourself whether you deserve to be treated like that.

You really can do better. You might even find someone who makes you 'feel alive', you never know.

akawisey Thu 06-Feb-14 15:36:29

Mine did this - a 'generous' settlement offer which was conditional upon me not contacting CSA among other things. But my sols advice was to ride it out, start divorce proceedings, try mediation and have the court route as a back-up.

He stalled and stalled and stalled whilst then trying to alter his proposals. But I stuck it out OP and eventually he realised that whatever the outcome I was prepared to go all the way and eventually he bottled it and signed a consent order which gave us a fair settlement (and I was in a similar situation financially to you where he was earning 3 times more than me).

Oh, and he's a knob head btw.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 15:37:52

oldgrandmama no. No, I don't think I could trust him again. I know it just doesn't work that way. I know men and women that have had affairs and gone back to their spouses and it's made them stronger in a weird way. I guess I just wanted that. But he's not really consistent in his remorse. He's clearly still holding out for her. The minute she snaps her fingers, he'll go running. He did it before with barely a backwards glance. He reckons they got on so well. Reckons that they bonded when she was dumped. Basically, she fits the porn fantasy he has and I don't. That's what he's about. I just don't get why he was with me at all if I think about the porn history I found. He just gets better doesn't he?

He's not the man I thought he was any more. He's not really the man I loved any more. He's definitely not the father he once was.

He's a knobhead. An absolute knobhead.

Jan45 Thu 06-Feb-14 15:40:32

The more I read the more I am realising that this is a lucky break - for you.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 15:41:31

akawisey. Brilliant. This is what I need to hear.

My Solicitor said the same, mediation first then solicitor/court.

Coreygal I hope I do find someone else. I really do want someone decent this time though. I thought he was. How stupid I was.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Thu 06-Feb-14 15:49:52

It's over - and good for you. You'll be the one who ends up happier by the sound of it, as he is a Prize Arse.

I'd tell him that formalising the agreement now is the only circumstance under which you will consider discussing any reconciliation. If he won't go for that, just go straight to solicitors. Formalise it and then go tell PornLoser to go sniff elsewhere.

Don't let the school fees thing stop you. I can almost guarantee that - if he has the funds ok - it's the one thing he WON'T stop. He will not want to look - and indeed be - the bad guy to your son. He won't want it to be so easy for you to have such good ammunition against him with your son. Now, I'm sure you would not ever want to bring your son into more of this than is necessary - but Mr. Selfish won't be thinking that way, and so a carefully worded suggestion that if he were to stop the school fees you can't imagine how his son would ever forgive him might be rather useful to you.

Rightallalong Thu 06-Feb-14 15:49:53

Jan somewhere deep inside, and the more this thread goes on, I feel that too.

He told me that she'd told him to come and woo me back before I even found out, when he was giving her the usual 'my wife doesn't understand me' routine...Because he was telling her that I was not interested in him. Cheeky bastard. I laughed when he told me and thought that was her way of making it clear that she wasn't interested in him at the time, but she's been sending him photo's etc. of herself so I know she's got some interest in him. Maybe the fact that he's taken her out to some of the best restaurants and places the country has to offer and the fact he's more senior at work. She told him he shouldn't be offering me so much money...they fell out over it. She has no kids and is in her mid twenties.

And yes, how sick he decided to tell me all of this. Even said 'good on her for getting back with her ex, but she's mad to do so because he doesn't treat her very well'. The irony of that statement left my jaw on the floor...

She really must be quite something to drag him away from his DS.

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