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Could you take him back after midlife crisis?

(209 Posts)
PaisleySheets Fri 14-Nov-14 16:47:39

Just what the title says really.

If your otherwise exemplary and lovely husband had a two year hiatus from being a normal human being, where he got depression, was not sure he loved you or ever did and moved out, would you be able to forgive him?

He wasn't having an affair, there's never been anyone else involved. I am not sure why he did what he did. All he will say is that he felt he had to do it.

One minute I feel really sorry for him. We had a terrible debt problem and he'd been my rock for a long time and just couldn't cope. I also feel sorry for him because he made an awful mess of his life, he's had dreadful depression that's crippled him and he's been through a miserable time on his own. I also genuinely believe he loves me and regrets what he did.

One the other hand, during the worst of this "midlife crisis" he treated me like dirt on the street. The first I knew of any problem was an email to say he didn't love me anymore and was never coming home and to move on with my life. I won't bore everyone with all the details of the last two years, but in the first six months he was really about as cruel and unfeeling as a person can be and I got to the point I was calling Samaritans every week.

We had a happy marriage, losing him like that was the worst experience I have ever been through but I fought through it and made a new life for myself 400 miles away and my career took off.

I hoped for so long that he would "get better" and want to come home, but now he does, I don't know what to do. I am just so angry at him!

I know I love him, and before all this happened I couldn't fault him or us and I felt it was everything I'd ever wanted -but everything that's happened since feels so hard to get over.

I don't want to cut off my nose to spite my face though, and part of me feels like working things through with him is my best chance at happiness. I've dated a few great men and none of them make me feel that way that my husband did.

Has anyone ever let a wayward spouse come home after a long period apart or after them doing wrong? How did it go? I feel like I just can't go through being hurt again sad

I tried to keep this short by not including too much detail but I can also point out that we don't have children, we are both late thirties and neither of us filed for divorce.

I have shown myself and him I am perfectly capable of living without him, and I enjoy life and have filled it with fun and friends and travel and new hobbies and dates but I admit that without him I feel a constant void deep down.

WitchWay Fri 14-Nov-14 16:53:14

Are you certain there was no-one else?

It sounds to me as though there was, even if you thought there wasn't, & for whatever reason it hasn't worked out.

Only you can know what to do. Do you still love him, or has your heart moved on?

InfinitySeven Fri 14-Nov-14 16:55:13

From what you've said, you still love him.

Could you date him again? Take it very slowly and see if you can recapture the good emotions, without the hatred?

Jan45 Fri 14-Nov-14 16:58:07

I wouldn't be so sure there was nobody else, classic script behaviour.

You could try going on dates and see what happens, I wouldn't be too sure about rushing back into anything, you don't even know if he really is well again or not, or, what I would be thinking - the relationship with OW has fizzled he wants back.

NickiFury Fri 14-Nov-14 16:59:16

No I couldn't. I also think there was someone else/elses and I would constantly be waiting for him to do it again. It's no way to live. As for his "depression", what form did it take, was he diagnosed and treated?

AMumInScotland Fri 14-Nov-14 16:59:57

I don't think you can let him 'come home' when there's so much water under the bridge.

But you could try meeting up with him and talking and consider whether he is someone you would want to date and see how it goes. You might or might not be able to get past what happened, if you are truly convinced that he has learned from it and changed what he needed to change. Or you might feel that you just can't trust your happiness to a person who treated you like that, no matter what else is in your shared history.

dreamingofblueskies Fri 14-Nov-14 17:02:53

Has he given you valid reasons that you accept as to why he did it? I think 'mid-life crisis' is a bit of a cop-out excuse. All answers need to be given before you embark on any new relationship with him. If you did want to give it another chance it might be worth taking it slow, almost treating it like you were meeting him for the first time?

Nillia Fri 14-Nov-14 17:06:27

Yes I think you could rebuild your relationship at some point if you wanted to but you need to date (like everyone else has said) and get to know each other all over again first. Take it slow.

But I also think that from everything you have said that there was another woman involved in his decision to leave and fall out of love with you. You have lived apart distance wise so maybe there is still a lot to know about his midlife crises.

King1982 Fri 14-Nov-14 17:09:44

It sounds like a common story when one member of couple suffers from depression. I think if people were able to carry on normally with depression it wouldn't need treatment.
I think you need to see if his treatment is working and showing signs of success.

Alifeinclouds Fri 14-Nov-14 17:11:11

If he was genuinely ill, and I genuinely believed that is why he behaved as he did, I may slowly try to rebuild the relationship. I have never been in Your situation though,so my response is only theoretical

Nillia Fri 14-Nov-14 17:13:44


PaisleySheets Fri 14-Nov-14 17:14:20

Yes, I'm certain there was no one else. He moved into his parents house and they kept in constant contact at first as they felt it was just a moment of madness. They say he left he spent three months without leaving their house, not even going out for drinks with friends and that he was drinking heavily and in a real mess with constant crying and panic attacks.

He got counselling and treatment for after a few months when he admitted he had a problem and very slowly started to get better. I've been in contact with his family and his close friends and they all say he had some sort of breakdown and that there has been no one else, and I do believe this.

His story is that he was ill, and irrational and hopeless and felt that he needed to be alone to cope. We had a good marriage and I thought we could talk about anything so I don't know why he wouldn't let me be there for him.

As I said, I'm 400 miles away now as I moved for work. I haven't seen him or spoken to him beyond the odd text for a year and what he is asking for is to come and spend a weekend with me so we can talk. He says he is better now and that he made a huge mistake.

I know all of the above tells a sad tale from his perspective, but h didn't just leave me, he was also horrible to me. He told me it was my fault, he didn't love me, counselling was a waste of time and all that.

I was in a really bad way myself for a long time over it, and have only just started to feel normal again.

WitchWay Fri 14-Nov-14 17:16:52

It does sound as though he was very depressed sad

Depression can make people behave very oddly & push away those who are close to them.

PaisleySheets Fri 14-Nov-14 17:22:02

I do know he was genuinely depressed and I temper my anger with that but at the same time I wish he had given me at least a chance.

If he'd loved me more would he not have tried anything other than leaving? He didn't try anything at all, he just left.

He didn't care what I was going through. It was just so horrible. I love him and want him but I also don't want to settle for a life with someone who loves me less than I love them.

For me one of the big points of marriage was to have someone who would be with me "no matter what", someone who'd solidified a lifelong commitment and bond of trust to make an effort to weather hard times. I know he was in a very bad way, but why react like that? I would have thought that's when you lean on your spouse the most?

I'm also late thirties and want a family. I can't imagine what life would be like if I let him back in, got comfortable and he did it again a few years down the road with children involved.

There's so many arguments not to get myself back into this, but I really do love him which means I don't want to regret down the road not giving him a chance.

Nillia Fri 14-Nov-14 17:25:27

Sorry then. I am wrong.

I think that this is your life and if you still love him then it is worth talking to him and seeing how you feel then.

CinnabarRed Fri 14-Nov-14 17:31:58

I couldn't forgive that, no. I'm very sorry it happened to you both.

Jan45 Fri 14-Nov-14 17:35:29

It's all very convenient isn't it to blame his treatment of you on depression, I am not saying he wasn't depressed but it's shocking to think that you thought everything was A ok up until he started being horrible then left.

I know you say there was nobody else involved but I honestly wouldn't rule it out.

I have friend who have had depression for years and none of them have acted so nastily.

Only you know if you want to give him another chance, what if he gets depressed again in six months time and you are back at square one again?

Take it very slowly indeed, and make him work for your company.

Embolio Fri 14-Nov-14 17:35:31

I don't think I could forgive him and certainly struggle to trust him again, if it were me. I speak as the veteran of an ex that used depression to treat me very badly, I forgave him many times until something finally snapped but he never changed and always eventually went back to being a shit.

Matildathecat Fri 14-Nov-14 17:39:37

I suppose the answer to 'how could he do that and be so horrible' is that depression is a vile illness which literally messes your head and feelings up. You are very loyal and loving to be still considering getting back together and it does sound as if that's the way you are leaning. However, there simply cannot be any guarantees that this will never happen again. Period. It was apparently completely out of his control so presumably could be again.sad

The physical distance of 400miles is a long way to be able to reconnect if that's what you want. And yet you do sound as if you have been waiting patiently in the wings, awaiting his call. I do feel very much for you, OP because there are no answers here.

I do however suggest that somehow you insist on couples counselling before you commit. He has to accept some blame and show remorse and insight for what he has done to you. Blaming it all on his illness isn't good enough.

Good luck. Do report back if you feel able.xx

FoolishFay Fri 14-Nov-14 17:42:01

Well, that's pretty much what happened to me. We lived apart for 6 months during 2013 and over the last year, we have gradually been getting to know each other again. He works away during the week which has given us some space.

It's quite a different relationship, much more equal, I am a much stronger person because I now know I could cope on my own if necessary.

Of course I have wobbly days, wondering about trust but on the whole it's pretty good.

Embolio Fri 14-Nov-14 17:45:38

That should say 'used depression as an excuse' - I don't say that lightly at all.

Cross posted there - honestly, this sounds harsh but in my experience I couldn't get past the feeling that ex didn't want to be with me on some level and it made me massively insecure and angry (not good for any relationship).

You'd be within your rights to tell him no, or say a weekend is too much. Or say too much has happened and you can't go back to what you had. How would it make you feel self-esteem wise if you took him back, despite everything he put you through.

I'm sorry, I am probably projecting a bit here - your post just struck a chord with me.

something2say Fri 14-Nov-14 17:51:58

I think these are the things you should say to him. Let home come and stay and yell it all at him. He did it.

I think you love him, life is complicated and no ones marriage will get off scot free x

alwaysstaytoolong Fri 14-Nov-14 18:14:18

I am a MH nurse who has also had three episodes of very serious depression.

It's an illness which completely alters your view of yourself, other people and the world. It is an illness which alters your perception to such a degree that you act in ways which are difficult to understand and so removed from your usual personality and character.

When I was very ill I genuinely believed that I was an awful, awful person who had a terrible life and who no-one could possibly love and that everyone would be better off without.

I cut myself off from anyone who cared about me because I either believed they were just pretending to care or in the case of my parents, sibling and boyfriend - I believed they loved me but I didn't deserve that love because I was a complete cunt and I was just bringing them down and ruining their lives. When forced to see or speak to people I was so irritable and so resentful that they just wouldn't leave me the Fuck alone that I was horrible at times and said things that were completely untrue but which I believed at the time. Classic depressive thinking.

IF that was what he was going through and thinking then it wasn't a mid - life crisis, it was a very ill man.

PaisleySheets Fri 14-Nov-14 18:23:52

Not being childish or trying to play hard to get, but do you think he needs to put a bit of work into showing he is sorry and serious about this?

We had a good marriage, and I have had two years to really evaluate that from an objective standpoint. I think probably in the six years we were married a day didn't go by where I didn't feel cherished by him.

Having tried and tested other men, it's very hard to explain but with my husband it just felt right from day one and was always so easy. No feeling like I wasn't sure. It was always just as natural as breathing and we felt like a pair. Which was why it was all the more difficult to understand how much he changed without any reason I could understand. I just couldn't comprehend any situation where he was better off alone and it was such a difficult thing to accept.

I think if I said "yes" to this weekend I would just use it to torture him because I am still just so hurt and betrayed and angry. Maybe he has to do more to show how he feels and how serious he is before I can consider even seeing him.

PaisleySheets Fri 14-Nov-14 18:28:02

I cross posted there with you always, but thank you for that.

Deep down in my heart of hearts I genuinely do believe he was ill and that he was not thinking clearly or able to see reality. I have always had that faith in him, but in a sense that prolonged my agony.

The rolercoaster ride was like being tortured. "I love you but it wouldn't be fair on you to be together". "I don't love you and have been going through the motions for six months". "I'm not sure I ever wnated to get married". "I don't care about myself, much less anyone else".

There were times the old husband made an appearance and I got the occasional nice message or call but most of the time he pushed me away as hard as he could. He said seeing me was "too hard" so he wasn't even willing to be friends.

I know he suffered, I observed that, but I also suffered and in a sense I feel like he slept through it. The illness severed our bond to the point where at times I could be sitting right next to him and I felt like there was no one in the room with me.

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