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Will he feel guilty that he's leaving me and our kids?

(36 Posts)
completelyalone1980 Thu 13-Nov-14 22:45:56

We met at uni and have been together ever since. I thought we had a great life, two kids (4&7), good jobs. We were always very busy with life so not a lot of alone time. I never thought our problems were serious or different than any other couples. But then he recently told me that we should split up, and he doesn't want to work at it because it won't change things and how he feels. He said we have grown apart. I don't think he loves me anymore. I think I'm still in shock. I'm trying to keep it together. It's helped that he's moved out. But I miss him. I don't know what to do to get him to change his mind. He promises that there isn't someone else. Should I just be patient? Is it just a mid-life crisis?

Milmingebag Thu 13-Nov-14 22:48:52

There is someone else but he is keeping his powder dry is my guess.

Sorry you are really going through it x

saintsandpoets Thu 13-Nov-14 22:49:07

Whilst people do worry about the effect splitting up has on children, and sadness about 'what could have been' for their family, I don't think people do feel guilty for leaving a relationship that makes them unhappy if they end up happier as a result. Staying together for the kids almost always causes more damage - just look at the Stately Homes thread.

Please don't put your life on hold waiting for something that probably won't happen. Take your time, focus on you, and move on with your life. You'll be happier too. thanks

GrannyGoggles Thu 13-Nov-14 23:43:36

Be patient for a while, be generous and optimistic. Suck stuff up. Set a time limit that you control then move forward together or apart.

He may not 'love' you now but may wish to come back in the future, by then you may think, 'No thanks.'

I would also guess there is someone else. However he may realise has a lot to lose and may decide to change his mind.

I'm partly agreeing with saints and milm, but still - a watching brief.

And sorry that you've got this shit to go through

overslept Fri 14-Nov-14 00:16:15

There is no reason to believe that there is somebody else if he says there isn't. People on here are so used to either being cheated on or reading about being cheated on it becomes second nature to say "there must be somebody else". If a women left and listed her reasons on here nobody would say she had me an OM, truth is he probably just hasn't bored you with the details of why he has left.

Move one, drastically. Forget him, take yourself out. Find time for yourself. Get back to you. Once you do he will likely regret his choice and only then will you be in a position to know if you WANT him back, rather than expect/rely on having him there. Chances are you won't once you adjust to life without him.

fairylightsintheloft Fri 14-Nov-14 00:17:34

Mil that's really not helpful - you know absolutely nothing about the OP or her husband and are pretty obviously projecting. OP this is awful now, of course it is and if he is a decent guy he probably will at some point (possibly always) feel guilty for putting his happiness above a traditional family set up, but I deliberately didn't say "his happiness above his kids'" as many others on here will attest, an unhappy, together family is usually worse than a split family where the adults are free to pursue a relationship that makes hem happy too. If he really was unhappy, over time that would have showed itself. if this is really it, better this way in the end. Best of luck x

SolidGoldBrass Fri 14-Nov-14 00:22:10

Sometimes, a person just doesn't want to be in a relationship any more. It isn't nice to be the one who is dumped, but you can make it better by moving on rather than waiting around, wringing your hands, and hoping he will change his mind.
It sounds like he is trying to be civil and amicable and fair, which is a good thing. You should be able to become friendly co-parents after a while. Best of luck.

overslept Fri 14-Nov-14 00:22:20

Very well said fairylightsintheloft

Nillia Fri 14-Nov-14 00:58:38

Sorry OP, Men don't tend to leave unless there is another Woman somewhere.

Cabs1 Fri 14-Nov-14 01:11:25

OP I could have written your post - even our kids are the same ages! This happened to me a few months ago. DH has moved out and I am just trying to keep going and get my head round it and accept this has happened...but still hope he will see sense.

He will feel guilty, but he is also probably very self-absorbed at the moment. I had lines like 'time to think about me for a change'.

What is helping me is getting on with life as usual. It's actually easier as I'm not having to tip-toe round his moods anymore, so I feel more in control. He comes round to see the DCs and I am calm and strong. He looks sad and I remind him this is what he wanted. He has commented that I am more confident and decisive. I still don't know if he will come back. I hope so, but if not I have at least started the lengthy process of working through this and trying to adjust to my new life and future.

And antidepressants have really helped me - they seem to have removed the anguish - so I am being strong but with a little medical help!

As Granny said, be strong and patient and I hope he does see sense

Crushed2914 Fri 14-Nov-14 07:03:36

My husband left me & our baby. He hasn't asked about her for weeks & hasn't seen her for over a month. I haven't heard anything from him, I feel like he's forgotten all about us. A decent man would feel guilty, your children are older so I think he will miss them. My husband is very selfish & has another woman, I don't believe he feels any guilt, he was cheating through my whole pregnancy so I doubt he's connected at all with his child.
Sorry you are going through this.

Vivacia Fri 14-Nov-14 07:13:05

You would be wise to prepare for there being someone else. Perhaps I am saying this because I am pathetic, projecting and bitter. Or perhaps I'm saying this because time and time and time again I read on here, from people in your position, that that's exactly what the truth turned out to be.

Chrissy41 Fri 14-Nov-14 09:01:47

I agree with Vivacia - maybe I am projecting too but if you have a moment google the cheater's script. It is alarming how many men follow exactly this pattern. I would love to be wrong though. I wish you strength.

StardustBikini Fri 14-Nov-14 09:10:19

Whether or not there is another woman, his choice to leave the relationship does not mean that he is leaving his children.

The relationship he has with you, OP, is totally independent from the relationship he has with his DCs as a parent. And it is perfectly possible for him to remain a committed dad, even if you and he are not together. Where the DCs live, who cares for them, how their needs are met is not dependent on their parents living together, and how those needs are met in the future is not influenced by who ended the relationship or for what reasons.

A parent should not be obliged to remain in a relationship with their DCs other parent - the assumption that if the relationship ends, the children are also "left" is incredibly damaging.

completelyalone1980 Fri 14-Nov-14 09:20:17

Thank you all for your support. I truly appreciate it. It is easier to be honest on this forum than with friends and co-workers, all of whom have been great, but I’m afraid of sounding too pathetic with them. I’ve told my family, and am grateful for their support, they have really stepped up. I definitely need some anti-depressants, thank you for that advice. I don’t know if I should see a counsellor. I don’t know what she will tell me that I don’t already know, or that I can’t read in a book (I have half a dozen – any recommendations?).

I’m surprisingly fine at work as I’m trying to keep busy. It’s harder at night. My mum has offered to come and stay and I think that may be a good idea. It will also let me go out with friends, as DH is completely unreliable to mind the kids. I’m told that I have to get dressed up, go out and see what it’s like to get male attention again (it’s been so long!), so that I can stop thinking that DH is the only man in the world for me. I have to start looking pretty for myself again, although now I also make sure to look good whenever DH comes round.

I don’t want to focus on whether there is an OW or not, as I’m not sure which thought bothers me more.

I look back now and I see the signs. We became less and less intimate over the years, but I was tired and maybe resentful that he didn’t have the energy to help with the chores & children, but had energy for sex. We would criticize each other but not resolve anything. He said I complained a lot, and I said he never helped out enough and never saw things from my perspective. Because we were very good at putting on a good face in front of our family and friends, we perhaps convinced ourselves that everything was fine.

In the rare moments that I’m not feeling scared, overwhelmed and hurt, I can analyse our issues with some clarity, and even let myself feel angry. I resent that I have been begging him not to leave me, thinking that so much of this is my fault for being snippy and negative (and thinking “if only….”). However, he never was an equal in taking care of the house and the children or day to day issues, and he always made me feel like he could have done it better, and he decided how much he wanted to be involved and I was expected to do the rest. He has no idea how hard it is to raise children. He will learn when he has to take care of them for entire weekends, the thought of which brings a faint smile to my face. I don’t think he appreciated me. Although I miss him a lot, I wonder if perhaps I miss the thought of having a ‘him’ (and terrified about dating again), or what we used to have many years ago, or the superficial appearance of our relationship and life. He was always more confident that me, and I wonder if that got manipulated to make me think that he was somehow better than me, and that I should be lucky to have him.

I know I need time to myself. NC is not realistic as our children are too young to manage completely independently and I don’t want them to miss him and I actually don’t want to be a martyr and do it all on my own. We have to have business-like contact to discuss schedules, holidays and money calmly, and not be afraid to address difficult topics. That is what will have the biggest effect on him and get him to maybe appreciate what he is losing.

Vivacia Fri 14-Nov-14 09:32:58

You sound a lot stronger this morning.

I'm not sure I agree about going out looking for male attention, but I think that getting dressed up and going out with friends sounds good. Try counselling. Try having your mum over for a night. Try lots of new things without committing to anything more than "just trying once".

What's the financial situation (in terms of child maintenance)? How are you communicating with each other? What's the situation with him and the children spending time together (access)? How much of his stuff is still at your house, and what access does he have to your house.
If you're still doing laundry or cooking for him I'm going to have to give you a stern emoticon.

LineRunner Fri 14-Nov-14 09:37:08

Trouble is, an Ex's guilt can be a two edged sword. My ExH's guilt has led to his behaving atrociously, even lying to my family and blaming me for his leaving when there was an OW all along.

After he left her and moved on to the next one, he carried on blaming me for everything, pretty much including the weather.

As I surely wouldn't have married a raving tosser, I can only assume that the guilt turned him a bit funny.

Cabs1 Fri 14-Nov-14 09:57:16

I think you're doing great. It's easy to blame yourself for this but don't. He has as much responsibility to work on the marriage and communicate his issues as you do. If you are able to consider reconciling you will both need to work through how you could have done things better.

But right now, stop the negative behaviour, be nice to him, show him you can cope, look nice. Some MNers may say you shouldn't be pandering to him, but actually being nice and positive, making yourself look nice, are all good behaviours which will make you feel better as a person and help you find who you want to be (whether it is in this relationship or not), which will help your confidence.

Forget about any new relationships. You need to get to a place where you and your DCs are fine as a unit on your own.

applesnbears Fri 14-Nov-14 12:49:39

Sorry to hear you are going through this. This EXACT thing happened to me three weeks ago. I am feeling the same you are, wondering what the hell happened as I was happy (had thought he was too) and praying he may come to his senses and come home. Unfortunatley I have no wisdom to offer you at present just want you to know you're not alone and send you hugs x

Castlemilk Fri 14-Nov-14 13:06:29

However, he never was an equal in taking care of the house and the children or day to day issues, and he always made me feel like he could have done it better, and he decided how much he wanted to be involved and I was expected to do the rest. He has no idea how hard it is to raise children. He will learn when he has to take care of them for entire weekends, the thought of which brings a faint smile to my face. I don’t think he appreciated me. Although I miss him a lot, I wonder if perhaps I miss the thought of having a ‘him’ (and terrified about dating again), or what we used to have many years ago, or the superficial appearance of our relationship and life. He was always more confident that me, and I wonder if that got manipulated to make me think that he was somehow better than me, and that I should be lucky to have him.

Sounds a very selfish, beta-quality partner and father.

Yes, sounds like you're getting over the shock and beginning to see that this all has a pretty big silver lining.

And - yes, I really really would prepare myself for an OW to crawl out of the woodwork at some point. No, not projecting (never had this happen to me). Simply recalling the depressing, almost inevitable pattern seen in others, and especially on reading these threads. And, most of all - the way you describe above a very very selfish man. Selfish people are even less likely to jump without a reason like this, I find. A user - which is what he is - tends to continue to use until there's something else he wants elsewhere. A user would be quite happy to live with someone he's 'grown apart' from, continue to get his pants washed and not give a shit about emotional honesty. He probably has someone else.

You will be ok. Do make a remark that if he turns up in three months with a 'new girlfriend he's just met', he needn't bother with the pretence, you'e not stupid. Though you are on the way to becoming happier.

Milmingebag Fri 14-Nov-14 14:24:08

Fairylights in the loft you are quite incorrect,I am not projecting.

You are rude and presumptious.

Milmingebag Fri 14-Nov-14 14:29:05

Op he sounds a rubbish partner and once you have got over the shock of change you will be a lot happier. X

Jan45 Fri 14-Nov-14 16:12:12

I agree with what has been said, men who leave usually do cos they have OW.

Sounds like you are well rid despite that.

completelyalone1980 Fri 14-Nov-14 20:09:24

I don't think the focus should be whether there is an OW or not, other than if there is an OW then I have less of a chance to get him back if he's already in love with someone else.
I will be positive and nice and agreeable, both for myself and to him - thank you to those who messaged me with that advice. However, let's say I'm really nice and bite my tongue and act all positive when he's around. Then when will it end? When he comes back to the house (if he comes back), how long do I have to be agreeable and blindly positive? When can I exhale? I'll always be worried that he'll leave again if I'm less than perfectly positive and agreeable. A lot of the problems and negativitiy we had were because it really wasn't working well. And my being agreeable (when I don't really agree) to get him back seems artificial. I may win the battle but may lose the war.
I know I lack confidence and self-esteem compared to him, but maybe he contributed to my low self-esteem. I didn't always used to be this way. And maybe trying to be too nice and agreeable to have him love me again is another sign of low self-esteem.
I need to really understand if he still loves me or if there's any hope for him to rediscover the love he once had for me. If he truly doesn't love me anymore, then there's really no hope.

TweeAintMee Fri 14-Nov-14 20:26:54

Dear completelyalone1980

You sound so absolutely lovely. Really. You are looking totally at the positive of everything and are so frank about your feelings. So, please, please look after yourself first.

You do not need the validation of another person to know that you are loveable. You are. And that is just from someone who can read you across the net. So...use your brilliant acuity to look at yourself and crack on without a partner for now.

If you can manage by yourself, you will learn to love yourself far more.

Then, and only then will you be able to evaluate any partner whether current, past or future.

Good luck brave person.

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