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Divorced but want to get back together.

(152 Posts)
484725gg Fri 30-May-14 17:39:40

Dear All,

I'm writing here to get some advice. I divorced just under 2 years ago, and want to get back with my ex-wife.

It's complicated and I feel no advice would be worth anything if I didn't paint a clear and honest picture of what happened before and since the divorce, and what my motivations are. So this might take a while.

We were together for 30 years, and married for 22. We have 3 children, who are now working or finishing University.

We were going through a rough time emotionnally as a couple before we got married, as we had been through a miscarriage and were struggling to conceive. We were just about to break up when our first baby finally came along, and so I/we entered into this marriage with mixed feelings. My Dad had left my Mum (or so I believed at the time - turned out to be the other way round) when I was 2, so there was no way I was going to do the same. I believe that if there's one thing you have to do with your life, is to better your parents. Otherwise, you've missed your turn.

So anyway I tried to be the good family man but, not surprisingly knowing what I know now, I went in and out (mostly in) of phases of depression. I gradually became withdrawn towards my ex over the years, but never let it be seen by my children, and did my best to be a good dad. I think I was depressed because I felt trapped, torn between the love and desire to be with my children and the prospect of having to stay in a failed relationship. But because I had decided to stay, I did the whole family thing: 3 children, estate cars, large house, pets, holidays abroad, etc.

Because of my general unhappiness, we decided that a change of scene might do me good and we immigrated to the uk about 5 years after we got married (I had always wanted to live in the uk, as I had spent all my summer holidays there).

We decided to place our children in private schools, to give them a bit of help, since we weren't familiar with the schooling system and curriculum.

Although there were lots of positives (and quite a few negatives), this decision placed a huge financial burden on us.

I could not make enough money by working for someone else, so I started my own business, from home, working all hours and weekends, whilst my ex looked after the children.

After about 15 years of that, approaching the age of 50, and the children leaving the nest, our marriage fell apart.

I still felt trapped, and started seeing our children's departure with huge apprehension, but also as a sort of possible light at the end of the tunnel. My ex and I did acknowledge the problem and we did talk about it. I wouldn't say she was asking me to leave (maybe that might not have looked right vis a vis the children), but she wasn't holding me back too strongly either. It wasn't a mutual decision on the surface, but I think deep down she wasn't too sorry to see the back of me, which I fully understand, given how withdrawn I could be towards her.

It's a bit more complicated than that, since there were flings here and there during and even before that period, but basically, without the children, we seemed to have had little in common.

So we sold the house, closed the business, and divorced. It wasn't 100% amicable, since continental matrimonial laws can less favourable to women than their UK counterparts, but objectively I think it was basically fair, given what we'd respectively put into the marriage. I'm certain she still disagrees.

My relationship with my children was very strained at first but, after the initial phases of anger and sadness, they became good. Not qiote as good as I would like (or as they should if I could explain to them the sacrifices I made) but good, almost back to normal. However any innocent comment can easily be taken the wrong way, so I have to be careful with what I say.

Right after the divorce, I met someone, whom I lived with almost right away, but who was very possessive, to the point of not wanting me to spend too much time with my children (and ex) at xmas (appropriately spelt ?), as an example. Every visit to my ex was the subject of disobliging comments. Not sure whether that's justified or not. My Dad thought it was. Everyone else, including me, didn't.

Not surprisingly, this new relationship didn't last too long - 2 years. During that time, much to everyone's surprise (children and friends mainly) my ex and I enjoyed a really good relationship - although we only saw each other in presence of the children (else I'd risk castration) we seemed to enjoy each other's company again, helped each other out whenever we could and, generally, were very positive towards each other.

Ok, I'll get to the point.

The point is, I want to get back with her. I don't mean in a physical (I'm 54, too old for really good sex) way, or even in an emotional one (I wouldn't say I'd be indifferent if she had boyfriends, but I couldn't blame her if she did, and wouldn't want to either) but I am just attached to her. I love her like I love my Mum and my children. Not sure if I'm getting this across the way it feels. It's just love. Not passion. It's stronger than that.

Why is this different to when we were married ? I think it is simply because I don't HAVE to be with her. No obligation. There is nothing, absolutely nothing - babies, finance, jobs, peer pressure - that is making me want to do this. And since I believe this was the main cause of my depression and all that followed, I think it has a good chance of working.

The benefits would be numerous:

- neither of us being lonely (she has lots of friends, I have very few - easier to make friends when you are picking kids from school then when you are forced to work from home). I don't think she or I mind solitude too much, but just having someone around when cooking, watching tv, walking the dog and sharing everyday chores (I don't mind doing all of them - I don't work as much these days without the school fees) - all of these would be much more pleasant, and if individually they don't seem like match, added together they do represent a lot of time.

- able to move into a larger house (we each have our own 2 up 2 down small cottage) so as to accommodate all our children and their boyfriends, babies, in laws, etc. when they visit. It is currently a nightmare even if the children turn up by themselves.

- but most importantly of all, giving back a united family to our children and future grandchildren, and to some extent our respective parents. That's the big attraction for me. I thought my job as a Dad was accomplished when the children left. I can now see how untrue that was.

I don't think my ex loves me in the traditional sense either. I think (hope) she probably has the same feelings for me as I do for her, with a varying degree of fondess.

Anyway, my intention is to invite her to diner (should I take her to the hotel/restaurant that I took her to on our first weekend abroad in the early 80s ? she would be on her guard - is that a good thing, a little advance shock-absorbing warning of what's to come ?) and, as we are sat at the table, hand her a written letter explaining all of this: why and how I want us to be a family again, why it didn't work before and why I think it would work now.

So the question is, do you think it is a good way to go about it ? How do you think she might react ? It's obviously difficult to answer without knowing how she feels towards me, but I guess she has some of the "fondness" I mentioned, maybe not quite as much as I do, and she will see this with some suspicion (are my intentions true) and some apprehension (am I being too optimistic).

Thank you for taking the time to read this - well done if you got this far - and please let me know all your thoughts. I would read them with interest.

LoveBeingInTheSun Fri 30-May-14 17:46:08

Wow, what a lucky lady, you've put up with her for all those years then dumped her and now feel like you fancy trying again but now because you are in love with her? Yeah put all that in a letter and make sure you duck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 30-May-14 17:47:37

I'm sorry but it's been a long time since I've read such a self-pitying, self-indulgent, selfish pile of egotistical shite. You gave the poor woman 20+ years of misery, running around after you, bringing up your kids and putting up with your crappy behaviour. And now it's all gone tits up for you and you think if you offer her the marvellous prize that is YOU and a bit of dinner she'll come running?!!!

Utter fucking bilge.

BitOutOfPractice Fri 30-May-14 17:48:09

In my opinion it is very very difficult to go back.

And it seems to me that a reconciliation would
A. Be all about you having an easier life
B. be just as much of a sham as the original marriage

And, speaking as someone with a boyfriend in his 50s, you are definitely not too old for good sex. I think it would be really sad to settle for a sexless marriage of "fondness" just because it would be more convenient

I suspect your wife, with more friends, and who hasn't rushed into another relationship is busy rebuilding her life and will be shocked at horrified at your proposal.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 30-May-14 17:50:39

'I love her like I love my Mum'.....

So marry your Mum?.. Beggars belief, it really does. hmm

louby44 Fri 30-May-14 17:52:11

The minute I started reading your post I knew you would get a ton of negative replies.

I too agree with my fellow MNers. You can never go back. It doesn't work. Your ex will probably laugh in your face.

Start making a life for yourself and leave your ex wife to her life!

Fontella Fri 30-May-14 17:56:20

I can't speak for your wife but if I were her, having lived through all that you've described ... and you handed me a letter ..... such as you've described ...... across the dinner table ..... I'd hand it straight back and tell you to shove it up your arse.

Waltermittythesequel Fri 30-May-14 18:06:45

I love how you kind of skip over the 'flings here and there'.

Yours by any chance?

And how soon is 'soon' after your divorce that you got together with the possessive girlfriend?

On the surface it wasn't a mutual decision? So you left but you're trying to put a positive spin on it. Why bother?

Leave your wife alone. You sound utterly self-absorbed and she most likely deserves better.

onetiredmummy Fri 30-May-14 18:07:17

I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

There's nothing in your OP that makes me think your ex would like to maintain an ongoing relationship with you. A couple of things jump out, the casual mention of 'flings' & that this:

but objectively I think it was basically fair, given what we'd respectively put into the marriage. I'm certain she still disagrees.

sounds very very dodgy. How on earth can you measure her contribution to the marriage if you didn't get 50/50 at the end? Why should she not have received 50% of all assets? Because you were the earner? because she stayed at home looking after your the children?

Also your reasons for wanting to be with her again don't sound very attractive. You want company but she has lots of friends, you can have a bigger house & some stuff about being a united family when that doesn't really matter once the children are older teens or adults. This all benefits you & I can't see much in it for her. You don't say but presumably she doesn't like you very much & I'm not sure she would reciprocate.

In the kindest possible way OP, is this what you really want? Or have you reached a certain age & are looking back down your life & wanting some of what you had before, when that's not possible anymore.

Don't do it, especially don't do it in a letter when she is sitting opposite you. Move forwards with your life not backwards. Find a new lady.

tippytap Fri 30-May-14 18:08:32

This surely can't be real? Could anyone be this selfish/self absorbed?

How did you find out about MN, OP?

Waltermittythesequel Fri 30-May-14 18:12:14

but objectively I think it was basically fair, given what we'd respectively put into the marriage. I'm certain she still disagrees

Yeah, forgot this little gem.

Coconutty Fri 30-May-14 18:16:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Fri 30-May-14 18:18:05

Leave the poor lady alone! She's moved on.

alphabook Fri 30-May-14 18:21:10

I hope your ex laughs in your face, then goes on to meet a lovely man who makes her laugh, respects her and feels passion for her.

There's much, much more to a marriage than sharing the chores and living in a big house. And there are far worse things than being alone.

Itsfab Fri 30-May-14 18:22:38

Interesting you want to go back now the kids have left home and you don't have your girlfriend any more.

NorthEasterlyGale Fri 30-May-14 18:23:30

Sounds a great idea. Restaurant sounds lovely. Just make sure she doesn't have a steak knife to hand when you give her the letter hmm

alphabook Fri 30-May-14 18:24:28

P.S. As I was reading your post I was waiting for the "and then I had an affair" bit. I was not expecting you to flippantly mention as an aside "oh and I had a few flings here and there". That says it all.

NewName228 Fri 30-May-14 18:24:38

Grow up, get over yourself and get on with your life and leave your ex to enjoy hers.

Frankly if she takes you back based on what you've said, you deserve each other.

oikopolis Fri 30-May-14 18:26:16

*I love how you kind of skip over the 'flings here and there'.

Yours by any chance?*

round of applause...

OP, leave your poor ex alone. You fucked her over, she's managed to rebuild a bit of a life, let her find someone who loves her like a lover, not like a mum.

MamaMumra Fri 30-May-14 18:29:46

If you love her - even platonically - keep away from her so she may have a chance of happiness after what sounds like a dire marriage.

Actually, you should show her your post. Really.

AnyFucker Fri 30-May-14 18:34:16

< starts typing >

< fucks off >

Monopolice Fri 30-May-14 18:37:42

I don't think she needs you to tell her where your marriage went wrong. I think she's worked that out all for herself already.

AnyFucker Fri 30-May-14 18:38:13

btw, OP, men of 54 can be proper shit hot in bed (speaking from experience)

is there something wrong with your equipment so you can't quite pull off the "flings here and there" any more ?

they do say serial philanderers won't give up until they can no longer attract the young birds

so now you will settle for your "comfortable" exwife because your cock is giving up the ghost and love her "like your mother"

your wife has many years left yet as a sexual being...I hope she laughs like a drain if you make this ridiculous idea known to her, and then goes out and fucks a load of hot men 50+ men

scottishmummy Fri 30-May-14 18:43:25

You need to respect her decision.and you both need time,space to develop individual lives
Sorry to read you've had mental health difficulties,i hope you maintain a good recovery
As much as yiu may hope for reconciliation if she doesn't want it,you both move on

Blueuggboots Fri 30-May-14 18:44:19

You're 54 and too old for good sex??
Shit, I've got 14 years left before I give it up.....
I can't even begin to reply to the rest of your madness!!!

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